Impasse at Wolf Creek ski area |

Impasse at Wolf Creek ski area

Allen Best

WOLF CREEK PASS – Lawsuits continue to tangle the planned real estate development adjacent to the Wolf Creek ski area. Despite the lawsuits, one of the developers, Bob Honts, insists that construction work will begin this summer.Honts and his partner, Red McCombs, the owner of the Minnesota Vikings football team and the Clear Channel Communications chain of radio stations, have received permission from county commissioners in Mineral County, where the ski area is located. They plan to build more than 2,100 housing units and 250,000 square feet of commercial development.Among those suing to block the project is the Pitcher family, which owns the ski area. A court-ordered settlement conference was unsuccessful.Honts told the Durango Herald that he and McCombs would consider the ski company’s ideas, but downsizing the first phase of 400 to 500 residential units is not an option. In the past, the Pitchers had approved of a scaled-down version of the project that limited overall development to no more than 800 homes.The Pitchers and two environmental groups have also sued Mineral County, arguing the county commissioners acted improperly in approving the development plan. McCombs acquired the property in a land swap with the federal government more than 15 years ago. Still at issue is access across Forest Service property to the parcel. All of this is located at 10,300 feet.Sun Valley tackling home costsSUN VALLEY, Idaho – Support has been building for regulations that will mandate affordable housing as a component of new development in the Sun Valley.At issue in Sun Valley are escalating house prices. For example, the average price of condominiums has increased 32 percent in the last four years. Echoing reports in years past from Aspen, Vail, and other front-tier resorts of the West, school administrators in Sun Valley are reporting difficulties in retaining staff, while the volunteer firefighting department is reporting slower response times, because so few volunteers live in Sun Valley.Town officials are looking at concepts called inclusionary zoning and linkages. In inclusionary zoning, 15 percent of the total number of lots in any new development must be designated for deed-restricted housing. In linkages, affordable housing is linked to the new jobs that will be created in any new commercial or residential development. Vail, Colorado

Support Local Journalism