Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Judge: Elkhorn Association can build trails in gulch

Ruling issued in suit against Sun Valley group


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Elkhorn Association has the authority to build trails on its property, according to a judge's recent ruling.

Fifth District Judge John Butler issued the ruling Nov. 25, saying the association has the power to construct hiking and biking trails in the Keystone/Parker Gulch area. Butler granted a summary judgment to the association in a suit brought against it in April by a group of nine Elkhorn property owners.

The plaintiffs argued that the association's plans to build the trails, which would connect with existing trails on the association's property as well as with trails on public land, is not permissible under the association's rules.

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The association countered that trails are permitted under the master plan.

"We always felt they had the power and authority to put trails on the common area," association attorney Ed Lawson said in an interview.

Plaintiffs' attorney Gary Slette filed a motion on Dec. 6 for reconsideration of certain terms of the judgment, including whether the association board is proceeding according to its own covenants.

"The court determined in its Decision that, while the SVEA can approve an open space trails plan, such approval is subject to Architectural Design Committee ("ADC") approval," Slette stated in a memorandum in support of the motion for reconsideration.

The plaintiffs claim that the board violated association rules when it determined that ADC approval was not required prior to trail construction.

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com




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