Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Developer can’t take ‘no’


So the Sun Valley City Council finally gave Lane Ranch North the green light last week. Did anyone even notice?

This was a deeply unpopular project that met fierce resistance when it was proposed more than a decade ago under the name of Triumph Springs. I remember the public hearings, the impassioned speeches lamenting the potential loss of this untouched gateway property, one of the most visible hillside parcels in the area.

I also remember a city government that was very much in tune with the public, unanimously rejecting the project as unnecessary and out of step with the Comprehensive Plan.

Where was all the opposition this time? Very few people even commented on this supposedly "scaled-down" version of the project.

Maybe everyone has been beaten into submission, knowing that the city will inevitably cave in to the developers rather enforcing hillside protections.

Maybe they knew it was a losing battle to take on another greedy developer who can't take no for an answer. The developer has remained hell-bent in muscling through a project nobody wanted, fighting the City Council and the courts for years so he can squeeze as much profit as possible out of land he once promised would be protected.

Maybe people just feel helpless, knowing it's a lost cause. Meanwhile, every year we're bombarded by more needless development despite all the high-end real estate currently available, and we lose the one thing that made us unique compared to other resort communities—uncluttered hillsides.

Now they're littered with golf courses, roads and tacky second homes.

Aspen, here we come.

RYAN OSE

Sun Valley




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