After close to four years of legal fighting, the Inyo Planning Commission has signed off on the proposed subdivision outside of Lone Pine, called the Whitney Portal Preserve.

mt._whitney.jpgThis proposed 27 home development has been in contention as developer Jim Walters and the Save the Round Valley Alliance have wrangled in court for over three years.

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.

With a now revised Environmental Impact Report that does look at land trades, the Inyo Planning Commission unanimously approved the project on Wednesday. Like the first time around, the decision can be appealed to the Inyo Board of Supervisors, if the appeal is filed by the end of the day on April 9th.

Planning staff reports that no appeal has been filed yet. When we spoke with Lynne Almeida with the Save the Round Valley Alliance, she said that the group had not made a decision but that the SRVA was considering an appeal to the Board of Supervisors.

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.