arguments fall flat
court judge last week told the state it couldnít operate outside local
land use laws.
It was a
Land Board had sued Blaine County for insisting that a gravel pit to be
developed on state land comply with county land use ordinances. The gravel
pit was to be in Ohio Gulch near hundreds of homes. Residents would have
been faced with industrial truck traffic, noise and dust from the
County had denied a construction company a permit for operations. The Land
Board sued, arguing that state lands are exempt from regulation under the
stateís Local Land Use Planning Act.
Even in the
wake of the decision, Land Board representatives are arguing that the
Idaho Constitution requires them to earn the best possible returns from
state land for the School Endowment Fund. They say this trumps local
District Court Judge James J. May pointed out that just as the state
cannot violate state criminal laws, it cannot violate land use laws.
Board surely could make piles of money for schools by growing marijuana,
but itís illegal.
goes for gravel pits.
decision and the outcome of the probable appeal of the case will have
example, if the decision holds, the state will not be able to ignore
county height and lighting limitations on a new cell tower on Della
Land Board representative took public comment on the tower Friday evening,
Despite the awful timing, County Commissioner Mary Ann Mix, Hailey City
Councilwoman Susan McBryant and county planners showed up and delivered an
called the hearing a "sham." And so it was.
of Blaine County deserve better treatment from the Land Board, which
includes Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of State Pete T. Cenarrusa,
Attorney General Alan Lance, State Controller J.D. Williams and
Superintendent of Public Instruction Marilyn Howard.
how the case finally turns out, the Land Board should stop trying to
deface Blaine County.