Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Intimidation in Blaine County?

Last fall, the Idaho Conservation League and Citizens for Smart Growth joined members of the public as we posed important questions about the effects of the proposed Cove Springs development south of Bellevue. Although our organizations have different missions, we were both concerned about balancing the development's amenities against clean water, wildlife, and regional planning.

After an open public process, the Blaine County Commissioners denied the Cove Springs' development application. The developers hired a large firm and sued the county. But they didn't stop there.

In January, even before they had requested the county's records, the developers slapped ICL, Smart Growth and some individuals with subpoenas demanding they throw open their books to the developers' lawyers. Clearly, this is a "fishing expedition" and attempt to intimidate us and members of the public.

We have nothing to hide. But we are concerned when lawyers come after groups who are speaking up for the public interest.

We have asked the court to dismiss the subpoenas. Idahoans should not have to fear intimidation as they work to keep Idaho special.

Vanessa Crossgrove Fry

Executive director

Citizens for Smart Growth

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