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Carisa Cegavske

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April 16, 2014
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Melrose gravel company seeks permit for golf course, RV park

The owners of Umpqua Sand and Gravel want to build an 18-hole golf course and RV park next to the South Umpqua River in Melrose.

The Douglas County Planning Commission will be asked Thursday to approve the project.

Umpqua Sand and Gravel owner Kelly Guido said Tuesday that mining operations will continue on the company’s property at the end of Shady Drive in Melrose. The golf course and RV park would be on land no longer needed for mining.

The $3.5 million project would include the first 50 spaces of what could become a 163-space RV park. The golf course, including a pro shop and restaurant, would be built on 138 acres along the river. Guido said the RV park and golf course together could provide 21 jobs and would not affect the jobs of the mining operation’s 35 employees.

Guido said his son Brant Guido, a “golf nut,” came up with the idea .

“He said, ‘It’s pretty nice down there Dad. What are we going to do with it?’” Kelly Guido said.

Some neighbors say they fear increased traffic, noise and further development might follow the RV park’s creation.

Shady Drive resident Loretta Stein said vehicles headed for the park would have just one route to the park, right past her and her neighbors’ homes.

“We kind of like our little neighborhood. We don’t want it turned into nothing but traffic,” Stein said.

Stein said she plans to attend Thursday’s meeting to voice her opposition.

Another neighbor said he doesn’t think increased traffic would cause him trouble. Jim Leoni, who lives on Camino Francisco Avenue off Shady Drive, said people on his street wouldn’t be as bothered by the development. He said it makes sense for Umpqua Sand and Gravel to diversify its business.

“If they can do something with those water holes they have down there now, put them to use, there’s some benefit to that,” he said.

County Senior Planner Stuart Cowie said county planners will recommend the commission issue permits for the RV park and golf course and change the property’s zoning from agricultural to commercial.

Cowie said the property is no longer suitable for farming.

“Any type of agricultural soil that was there on the property has been obliterated,” he said.

Guido said it makes sense to diversify, since miners no longer take gravel directly from the river. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied permits in 2009 for gravel mining in the South Umpqua River, citing concerns over salmon spawning and smolt habitat.

Guido said he hopes to tap into wine industry tourism and isn’t planning to compete directly with the Roseburg Country Club or the Stewart Park Golf Course.

The commission meets at 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 216 of the Douglas County Courthouse, 1036 S.E. Douglas Ave., in Roseburg.

• You can reach reporter Carisa Cegavske at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.

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The News-Review Updated Apr 16, 2014 12:03PM Published Apr 16, 2014 09:16AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.