local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs

 email us:
 arts and events


Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Gary Carr...The Carr Man!

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

For the week of  October 10 - 16, 2001


Telluride faces change grudgingly

Annexation vote has residents on fence

Express Staff Writer

When Telluride, Colo., Mayor Amy Levek says her resort city is at a crossroads, it’s more than fancy talk.

"A lot of people don’t understand yet that there are going to be trophy homes out there whether we annex or not," says Telluride Special Projects Manager Lance McDonald. Express photos by Greg Stahl

In addition to 12 candidates running for office in the city’s Nov. 6 town council election, Telluride is buzzing about a ballot referendum that would approve annexation of massive mining claims between the town’s east border and the end of the box canyon that gives the city its famous backdrop. Annexation would double the physical size of the mile-long city.

However, the proposal would add fewer than 100 home sites, and 94 percent of the 4,000 acres in question—including mining claims in the surrounding mountains—would be retained as open space under city and land trust ownership.

The claims in question are owned by the Idarado Mining Co., a Newmont Mining Corp. subsidiary. Idarado quit mining in Telluride in 1978 and completed a $20 million, five-year cleanup process in 1997.

But for Telluride, a city that places a high priority on open space, the plan is proving controversial.

Here’s the deal:

By annexing the land, Telluride would provide city services, including police, fire, water and sewer, to service trophy home and condominium sites on the valley floor.

Telluride’s affordable housing program is far more advanced than Ketchum’s or Blaine County’s. The Wilkin Court project is one of several single-family affordable complexes the local program has achieved. Express photos by Greg Stahl

In return, Telluride would receive vast amounts of open space on the valley floor and in the mountains. Idarado is also offering trails, water rights and between 66 and 70 affordable housing units, which would be built at Idarado’s expense.

"The one-time benefits of the housing and the high-country preservation are phenomenal," Telluride Town Manager Peggy Curran said. The area is "completely landlocked by the town. For it not to be part of the town is kind of goofy. It’s a cul-de-sac."

Resistance from within the city appears to be coming from those who fear change and growth, particularly sprawl of large homes, which are surprisingly sparse in Telluride’s box canyon. The proposal, called the Idarado Legacy Project, is a frequent topic for discussion in every forum imaginable, from cocktail hour to gondola rides. Most people interviewed by the Idaho Mountain Express were still on the fence.

"A lot of people don’t understand yet that there are going to be trophy homes out there whether we annex or not," Telluride Special Projects Manager Lance McDonald said.

The issue essentially boils down to the city annexing the area and receiving benefits, or Idarado developing the property on its own, without city involvement.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.