There is an empty bit of privately owned land in northern Inyo County that’s ready for housing development – if only the water were turned on.
According to the owners of the plot located behind Value Sports in Bishop, they are hoping to join the Meadowcreek Mutual Water Company in order to proceed with a development that’s been stalled for the past six years.
The narrow strip of property at the corner of North Barlow Lane and North Sierra Highway has come to be known as the “Arbors” – the name of the original project that included 22 town homes at the busy intersection.
Now, the property is overgrown with tumbleweeds and grass, the fence is littered with holes and an entryway looks like someone drove a truck through it. It was actually a van that ran through the entrance in September of this year, tearing down signs and leaving behind a mess of broken glass and splintered wood.
The current owners, FSF Investments of which Tom Sigler, owner/operator of Eastern Sierra Propane is a co-owner, said the entrance should be repaired “in the near future.” Sigler explained the delay with repairs has been due to the insurance company dragging its feet on mailing out a check.
He added that the fence does not “look pretty” but he said he has grown tired of repairing it over and over again. After numerous repairs to vandalism of the fence at a cost of hundreds of dollars and a lack of prosecution from the Inyo County District Attorney’s Office, he said he will repair the fence once water is secured to the plot and development can begin. Until then, he said the vandalism is a matter that the area’s parents and unruly children should deal with.
Sigler explained the Arbors will need to be annexed in as part of the water company and its district before the water valve can be turned on. He added that he is waiting to hear back from the water company. He said he has been working diligently on the annexation and he said he hopes a positive outcome is in sight.
He added the property has the infrastructure in place, such as water and sewer and electrical lines, and all it needs is water.
The former Arbors owner is still in litigation with the Meadowcreek over water matters. Ken Toy, president of the Meadowcreek Mutual Water Company, said he could not comment on the negotiations with FSF Investments nor the ongoing litigation with Arbors, LLC.
Arbors was an idea for a 22-town home lot which began seeking interest in 2003 and broke ground in 2005.
Sigler also said he understands the “desperate need” for housing in “land locked” Inyo County. The county has less than 2 percent of privately held lands, the majority being owned by the Bureau of Land Management, the Los
Angeles Department of Water and Power or the U.S. Forest Service.