Agriculture · Madera · Travel

Madera Co. OKs incentives for new Oakhurst resort, groundwater policies

A new, major hotel is coming to Oakhurst.

Tuesday, the Madera County Board of Supervisors approved an economic incentive agreement with Yosemite Resort LLC.

Per the agreement, the county and Yosemite Resort will share a portion of future Transient Occupancy Tax increment generated by the project.

The county initially approved an agreement with Yosemite Resort in 2018, but the COVID-19 pandemic changed market factors necessitating an updated agreement.

Yosemite Resort’s will receive 50 percent of the Transient Occupancy Tax for 25 years.

The facility will sit on at least 10 acres adjacent to Highway 41 in Oakhurst.

The hotel will house at least 75 rooms as well as a conference and corporate training center that is 12,000 square feet of space. 

County documents also state that the facility will have corporate and group amenities and facilities including trail networks, outdoor gathering spaces, communal fire pits, picnic areas, viewing platforms and a variety of other outdoor activities.

County authorizes new procedures for groundwater wells

Falling in line with an executive order issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom in March, Madera County passed a resolution which establishes the rules for permitting new or altered groundwater wells.

Newsom’s executive order prohibits jurisdictions from issuing a permit for a new well or altering an existing well without first determining that the proposed extraction of groundwater is not likely to interfere with other nearby wells and not likely to cause subsidence that would damage nearby infrastructure. 

The order requires groundwater sustainability agencies (GSAs) to verify in writing that the well is not inconsistent with any sustainable groundwater management program and would not decrease the likelihood of achieving a sustainability goal. 

Under the resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday, the County GSA will review permit applications to determine if such a written verification can be provided. 

During the board meeting, county staff clarified that the county would be unable to issue permits for wells without passing this resolution to comply with the executive order. 

Notably, domestic wells are exempt in the resolution.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.