“A foreclosure sale is scheduled April 9 for the unfinished phases of the Tahoma Terra master planned community in Yelm.
Tahoma Terra encompasses 220 acres and was envisioned to contain as many as 1,200 housing units. Two of the nine phases envisioned under the original master plan are completed, developer Doug Bloom said.
He said 120 acres is subject to the foreclosure action.
The lender, HomeStreet Bank, began foreclosure proceedings in December after principal balance on an eight-figure loan went unpaid. HomeStreet said it was owed $16.1 million, including interest and legal fees, according to the notice of trustees sale.
Bloom said the loan paid for the work on the project up to that point. He said he was unable to extend the line of credit, and a homebuilder that had an option to develop the lots withdrew its offer.
‘Its tough economic times for everybody, and were trying to work through it,’ said Bloom, who partnered with another developer, Steve Chamberlain, on the project.
Bloom said he is working with the bank to see if theres a way to hold on to the property….
On Thursday , a judge will hear arguments in a bankruptcy case involving Thurston Highlands, a 1,250-acre property in Yelm. Chamberlain wants to hold on to the property through bankruptcy reorganization while his partner, Dr. Paul Liao, seeks to gain control of it by moving forward with foreclosure.
Both Thurston Highlands and Tahoma Terra were annexed into the city in 1993, according to a staff report. Tahoma Terra is located north of the larger property,” quoting The Olympian.
Thurston Highlands’ default was first made public on the Yelm Community Blog May 7,2009
As reported here in 2008,
Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham issued a Letter of Opinion on October 7, 2008 and then a final ruling in favor of the case where:
“JZ Knight challenges City of Yelms approval of five proposed subdivisions” [Tahoma Terra Phase II, Divisions 5 & 6; Windshadow I; Windshadow II; Wyndstone; and Berry Valley I].
“Knight files Land Use Petition in Superior Court of Washington citing lack of available water resources to meet current & existing demand.”
The City of Yelm filed an appeal in this case & that decision is expected in 2010.
While no one wants to see someone forced into foreclosure & bankruptcy, Tahoma Terra & Thurston Highlands developers Doug Bloom & Steve Chamberlain were either naive, ignorant or felt so connected with Yelm’s City Hall that the city would bend the rules and allow them permits without bringing sufficient water with their development applications. That Bloom & Chamberlain moved forward on the word of the mayor, city administrator, city planners, hearing examiners & Yelm’s City Council, yet were being told by area citizens their developments were not following established state regulations because the city did not have sufficient water rights to support their applications, was daring, at best. The economic downturn and the Thurston County Superior Court case decision against Tahoma Terra all happened within months of each other in late summer & early fall, 2008, forcing Bloom & Chamberlain into default & leaving the city holding the bag in hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fees, taxes and an undeveloped golf course well.
This is all very sad.
Nonetheless, I wish Bloom & Chamberlain well in their next adventures.
Their dreams to build and develop this pristine, rural place brought many issues to the forefront for the public to see things as they really are in the City of Yelm. That has been a wonderful eye-opener!
What happens to the land now?
The City of Yelm has over-pumped their 2009 water allocation and has no further water rights to support any more water hook-ups. The city & DOE are in negotiations right now on the city’s actual water rights allocation, which when settled, will require the city to stay within. Look for major water conservation efforts for city residents, since the city continued to issue building permits thinking they had sufficient water when they were being told by a whole host of sources they did not have the water to continue doing so.
Who is going to want the Tahoma Terra & Thurston Highlands land when the city cannot provide water there?
With Tahoma Terra & Thurston Highlands out of the picture, why is water infrastructure for a major multi-planned community STILL in the Draft Water System Plan, which is still unapproved by Depts. of Health & Ecology?
And, why are city residents going to take another 16% hit with a water rate increase April 1st [as reported in the NVN], when the Draft Water System Plan initiating these increase has NOT been approved, as I said in the NVN this week?
And how is the water rate-payer going to get reimbursed for a water study and their payments for supporting these developments? THEY WON’T!
These are all questions that need to be asked of the City of Yelm – and unfortunately, won’t be, unless perhaps a Yelm business is forced to close because of the water rate increases.
Certainly, the silence coming from our own Chamber of Commerce businesses on the water rate increases is amazing. I have never lived anywhere where Chamber of Commerce members have been so quiet on an issue that looms so large on their balance sheets.