Banff mayor defends residence rule |

Banff mayor defends residence rule

Allen Best

BANFF, Alberta Because Banff, the town, is within Banff National Park, the federal government has some considerable say-so in what happens within the town. One provision is that people who own property there must live there. In other words, no vacation or second homes.

A lawsuit is underway in an attempt to displace that notion, but several Banff municipal officials say it’s proper and just. Opponents of this need-to-reside rule say they are fighting for individual freedoms, but Mayor Dennis Shuler says their real motivation is greed.

Another Town Council member, Bob Haney, says the law is vital to keeping Banff a tourist town. “I see no advantage in having the rich be able to come in and buy up housing stock that is needed to house employees who are delivering a service to the visitors of the national park,” he told the Banff Crag & Canyon. Expensive mountain retreats can be purchased elsewhere in Canada, such as in Whistler and Canmore, as well as in the United States, he said.

Skiing secondary during film festival

PARK CITY For 10 days every January, skiing becomes secondary at Park City as some 40,000 people arrive for the Sundance Film Festival.

This year attendance was reported to be slightly down, but still big. One owner of a private club complained to The Park Record that local authorities had begun enforcing occupancy limits, which cost him $40,000 to $70,000.

This year, the ski areas began a new strategy to get some business out of the film festival. Festival-goers were given vouchers, and each of the three ski areas Deer Valley, The Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort offered 20 percent discounts on lift tickets. There have been no reports yet on how many people this offer flushed out of darkened theaters onto the white slopes.

Park City shutting out gates

PARK CITY Park City’s planning commissioners want to preclude gates erected on even private streets to just those located near a “major traffic or parking generator,” such as a ski area.

“It sets a very high standard for when a gate is appropriate,” said Chris Larson, a planning commissioner who favors the change. “That pretty much rules out a lot of Park City.

While the City Council has final authority in this matter, The Park Record suggests a similar mindset. The city has “generally opposed gated streets” and in one case went to court to prevent a homeowners’ association from erecting a gate to prevent non-property owners from driving on a street.

But even when gates will be allowed, under the proposed law, access must be provided for pedestrians, bicyclists, and equestrians.

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