Legal Fight Over Whitney Portal Subdivision Not Over

It looks like plans for a subdivision off of Whitney Portal Road near Lone Pine, could continue to be tied up in court.

In March, the Inyo Planning Commission signed off on a revised Environmental Impact Report for the proposed 27 home development, called the Whitney Portal Preserve by the developer. Now the spokesperson for he group known as the Save The Round Valley Alliance, which has tied the development up in court for the past four years, says that they will appeal the Planning Commission decision.

In July of 2005, the Board of Supervisors signed off on the project. Soon after, the SRVA appealed that decision, taking the position that the developer and the county didnt look seriously into land trades with government agencies to build closer to existing communities. The court agreed and ordered a revised EIR.

With a now revised Environmental Impact Report that does look at land trades, the Inyo Planning Commission unanimously approved the project, but the SRVA contends that these revisions dont comply with the court order. With this appeal, the issue will go back to the Inyo Supervisors, and possibly could be headed back to court.

Jennifer Fenton with the SRVA says, The Whitney Portal development proposal threatens everything we love about the Owens Valley and the Eastern Sierra, adding that leap-frog development at the base of our Countys most iconic viewshed would set a dangerous precedent for our local landscape.

At last word developer Jim Walters still intended to move forward with plans to sell the two and a half acre lots off of Whitney Portal road.

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