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3:26 AM · Dec 4, 2019

Sutherlin Theme Park Not Going to Materialize After a lot of talk the past few years about a possible theme park in Sutherlin, the developer has backed out and decided not to pursue the project. (The following is a statement released today from the Douglas County Commissioners Office) The December 2, 2019 closing date on the latest ‘Option to Purchase’ extension for the 126.21 acres of real property (commonly referred to as the Sutherlin Industrial Park) owned by Douglas County, has now passed. The developers failed to produce the payment and meet contractual requirements by the latest deadline. Further, they did not request another extension and have since indicated they will not be pursuing the project on this property. Long before the lengthy purchase and sale agreement, the subsequent extensions and the option to purchase agreement process ever started with Oregon Only Development, LLC, the City of Sutherlin invited Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Oregon Department of State Lands and Oregon Only Investors to a May 31, 2017, ‘kickoff’ meeting. The purpose of the initial meeting was to introduce a development concept at the Sutherlin Industrial Development Park. But, more importantly they wanted to bring all the involved parties together to discuss what measures it would take to mitigate the wetland portion of the industrial park for this commercial application. This type of meeting is not uncommon for companies interested in developing wetlands in Oregon, especially since Oregon currently has 1.4 million acres of designated wetlands. For example, developers for local projects like the Roseburg Wal Mart and the adjacent Medical Park had to navigate through a similar regularity mitigation process when they chose to develop the designated wetlands in Northwest Roseburg. A portion of the land associated with the Sutherlin Industrial Development Park does fall under a wetlands designation, but it does not prohibit the development of the land. The regulatory authorities are willing to work through the wetlands mitigation process with the developers. The land is not unbuildable as some have claimed. Oregon Only or any other developer would just have to follow and complete the required permitting process. The Douglas County Board of Commissioners entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Oregon Only, on August 23, 2018, siting that the property would be sold ‘as-is and with all faults and defects”. It was signed by the principals of Oregon Only. The buyer’s due diligence period was set to end on September 3, 2018, with closing scheduled for September 4, 2018. Extensions to the purchase agreement were issued on August 27, 2018; September 26, 2018; December 3, 2018; December 24, 2018. On March 21, 2019, a new option to purchase agreement was signed by both parties. The last option to purchase agreement was extended on November 18, 2019 to the December 2, 2019 closing date. “Despite making every reasonable effort to see the project through, we are incredibly sad that this project will not come to fruition. It was an exciting concept for Douglas County. It would have created jobs, increased tourism and created additional commerce in our area. The County did everything we could to extend the process and give Oregon Only ample opportunity to close the deal, while also being willing to help with regulatory hurdles if the property had sold,” commented Commissioner Chris Boice. “The County will continue to search for viable economic development partners for this and our other properties. Getting these properties productive and back on the tax rolls is a priority of ours.”