Appeals court considers Box R Ranch ruling

PINEHURST — Oregon’s Court of Appeals is considering arguments to overturn a ruling issued by the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals in July that halted potential development of a 200-unit hotel on the former Box R Ranch.

Don and Jean Rowlett appealed the July ruling by LUBA, which overturned a 2013 agreement for development between Jackson County and the Rowletts. Oral arguments were heard by the court Sept. 19, and a ruling is due within 91 days of the proceeding.

LUBA ruled Jackson County and the Box R Ranch sidestepped land-use proceedings when they entered into the agreement to allow development on the ranch in the Greensprings. The Rowletts later sold the area that contains the resort development, now called the New Frontier Ranch.

Rogue Advocates and ranch neighbors Jeff and Jeannie Gilmore appealed the 2013 ruling when they became aware of it in late 2015. The Gilmores said they will be impacted by traffic to the proposed 200-unit hotel on the road they share with the ranch and by other activities.

Because of the LUBA ruling, further development on the site would require new applications through the land-use process, Jackson County Development Director Kelly Madding said in July.

“I don’t think major development on the Box R property is in the best interest of our neighborhood or the Greensprings community,” said Jeff Gilmore. “I’d like to see the Court of Appeals … uphold LUBA’s decision.”

Gilmore’s property is adjacent to Highway 66 between Tub Springs and Pinehurst and immediately west of the ranch. He’s lived there for 37 years.

“I feel very strongly that there has been enough development on the Box R property,” Gilmore said. "I would hope the new owner would be content to continue on the basis of facilities when they bought the ranch.”

Tony Boom is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at

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