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



Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 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. 

For the week of April 30 - May 6, 2003


Homeowners file suit against Sun Valley

Group seeks review of
Sagewillow school permit

Express Staff Writer

A group of Elkhorn homeowners has filed a lawsuit against the city of Sun Valley in a bid to overturn the city’s approval of a new elementary school proposed for the Sagewillow campus east of Elkhorn Village.

Hailey-based attorney Ned Williamson on Wednesday, April 16, filed a "petition for review" in Fifth District Court in Hailey, essentially asking the court to set aside the decision by the city to issue a conditional-use permit to The Community School to build a new school on the approximately 30-acre site.

The document specifically asks the court to "set aside the decision of the Sun Valley City Council and (Planning and Zoning) Commission, in whole or in part, and/or remand for further proceedings with instructions to (the city)."

Williamson filed the petition on behalf of a group of homeowners that reside along Arrowleaf Road, which would be the only access point to and from the new school campus. The group of petitioners includes Doug and Meredith Carnahan, William and Marjorie Woodward, Steve and Nancy Wasilewski, William and Mary Jane Elmore, and Oris and Bonnie Kirk.

Williamson said on Monday the petitioners’ primary objections to the approved project are that it would produce unacceptable levels of traffic and noise along Arrowleaf Road.

"Their position is that there needs to be an adequate set of conditions addressing traffic and noise," Williamson said.

The petition lists 10 points of legal contention to the permit issued earlier this year, including one that alleges the P&Z "erred by finding that the proposed school was a conditional use" for the Sagewillow property.

The petition also alleges that the city’s actions were "in excess of the statutory authority of the (P&Z) and City Council," and were "arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion."

Rand Peebles, Sun Valley city attorney, said he believes the city’s decisions were fair and should be upheld by the court.

During numerous public hearings on the proposed new elementary school in 2002 and 2003, Sun Valley residents were deeply divided on whether the location of the project was appropriate.

The P&Z approved the project in January with a long, six-page set of operating conditions for the school and penalties if the conditions are violated. A group of Elkhorn homeowners appealed the decision to the Sun Valley City Council, which in March upheld the P&Z’s decision by a 2-1 vote.

Peebles on Monday said the suit had not yet been served to city officials. Williamson said the city would be served in the coming days.

Once served, the city will be allowed 42 days to deliver records of the case to the court, after which the court will likely consider written and oral arguments from the parties.

Peebles said it is likely the case will not be resolved for several months. "We might not have a decision until mid-September," he said.

Lori Labrum, project manager for The Community School, said Tuesday that school officials had not yet reviewed the petition and could not comment on whether the project might be delayed. She said the school would like to break ground on the project this fall "if everything goes well."


Ski Reports


City of Ketchum

Formula Sports

Idaho Conservation League



Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

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.