Mountain News: 

Who will get the rest of Mammoth?

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With that in mind, planning commissioners in Hailey, a town down-valley from Ketchum and Sun Valley, propose to allow building on smaller lots. The existing minimum width of residential lots is 75 feet and of business lots 50 feet. The proposed minimum will be 37.5 feet, if the town’s officials go along with this idea. The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the idea is being championed by Citizens for Smart Growth.

Growth limits contentious

BANFF, Alberta — Banff continues to tango with that strange concept called sustainable limits to growth. The town is an island within a national park, and as such Parks Canada officials in 1998 said the expansion would have to be capped. Only 350,000 square feet of commercial space remain up for grabs.

The mayor, John Stutz, wants the federal government that capped the increase to accommodate services he considers essential to a tourism-based economy. For example, the town has no car wash, no dry cleaners, and no propane delivery.

But the mayor misses the point, says Dave Campbell, a conservationist. He told the Rocky Mountain Outlook that Banff lacked these things even before there were growth limits. "This reminds me of a child in a candy store – more, more, more, cries the child, rather than saving the sweets beyond a single, gluttonous afternoon," Campbell said.

Still, Parks Canada has not summarily rejected the mayor’s call.

Real estate plays scuttled

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A district court judge in California has at least temporarily scuttled plans for massive Colorado-style resort development in the Martis Valley, located between Truckee and Lake Tahoe.

The plan approved by Placer County in 2003 "builds in opportunities to create environmental mischief," said Judge James. D. Garbolino. He faulted the plan on several counts, saying it failed to adequately consider new traffic, offered little affordable housing and strayed from the county’s principle to encourage growth in existing cities.

The lawsuit had been filed by a coalition of environmental groups and aided the Town of Truckee. On the other side was Placer County, aided by land owners and development firms, including Eat West Partners. Roger Lessman, managing partner for East West Partners Tahoe, told the Sacramento Bee that he expects the county and his projects will eventually prevail. The case ultimately could go to the California State Supreme Court.

It’s not clear how the ruling might affect projects approved by the county but not built.

Among those approvals was one just days prior to the ruling. In that case, Placer County gave the green light for the first 252 units of what East West Partners expects will ultimately be 1,450 condominiums and townhomes at Northstar-at-Tahoe, a resort owned by Booth Creek. Both Booth Creek and East West Partners are based in Colorado’s Vail Valley.

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