Turtle Bay land dispute

Mar 17, 2014 8:44 PM

There's a fued brewing in redding over dirt -- dirt that's part of turtle bay, but belongs to the city of redding.

Last month, the City of Redding accepted an offer for the 14 acres of land it's currently leasing to Turtle Bay Exploration Park.

That offer was made by the McConnell Foundation, who placed a bid for six-hundred thousand dollars.

This all stems from a hotel project that's been in the books since 2010.

A Sheraton Hotel and restaurant would be built on this property to increase tourism and revenue for Turtle Bay, who by then, won't be receiving anymore funding from the city, according city manager Kurt Starman.

Starman says the land was appraised for almost four-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars -- about a hundred and fifty-thousand dollars below what McConnell offered.

"The unions contend that this land here is valued between 4 to 5 million dollars -- and that McConnell's bid of 600,000 dollars is a rip-off to tax payers."

That's why Tom and his team are trying to overturn the land deal made by McConnell and the City of Redding.

Curato's group set up a drive thru at the Locust office parking lot so residents could drop by and sign the petition.

The petition needs about five-thousand signatures before it can even make it onto the November ballot.

"Our desire is to see that the city tax payers get true full market value for their land."

Turtle Bay officials are just glad to have financial support so they can continue to keep their doors open.

"That's our goal, to be a cultural icon and asset for the community; and this money will really enable us to do that."

The proposed hotel and restaurant would create 70 permanent jobs in Redding, and more than a dozen construction jobs for the one-year building project.

Now if the petition does make it onto the ballot, the fate of Turtle Bay's hotel project -- and future -- will be in voters' hands.

If the project does move forward, all profits will go toward Turtle Bay, to preserve and enhance the park.


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