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Mountain News:

Ketchum considers ban on gated roads


Compiled by Allen Best

KETCHUM, Idaho — Planners in Ketchum want to make it illegal to install a gate on any private road or driveway that provides access to more than one residence. The city council will next take up this proposal.

The city’s attorney, Ben Worst, said the city has the authority for the prohibition "as long as it’s in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare."

From a report in the Idaho Mountain Express, it would appear planning commission members believe the town’s welfare would best be served by excluding the gates. "I just went to Palm Springs, and after being there, I don’t want to see another gate in my life," said Greg Strong, chairman of the commission. Added Jolinda Saidon, an ex-Californian who operates a massage and yoga business, "The whole sense of community just disintegrates."

However, one member of the commission questioned whether the new policy would infringe on individual property rights.

Park City goes with the wind

PARK CITY, Utah — Park City has exceeded its goal of buying electricity generated by wind.

A year ago, the city council made it a goal that 5 per cent of the community would participate in the program. In fact, participation is now at around 7 per cent. A second goal was that 2 per cent of the community’s electricity would come from wind-power sources. By a hair, that goal has also been met.

The municipality itself purchases 10 per cent of its power from Utah Power's Wind Energy. "We've achieved the first step in a process that will hopefully result in a state-wide policy on renewable energy," said Mayor Dana Williams.

In Colorado, both Vail Resorts and the Aspen Skiing Co. have made sizable investments in wind-powered electricity, as has the City of Aspen. Latest to join this gusty parade is the Steamboat ski area, which is making wind power 3 per cent of its total electrical use. Wind power, while becoming competitive, remains more expensive to consumers than electricity made by using coal.

Record real estate year

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — With $625 million in sales recorded through early October, Jackson Hole appears likely to surpass the previous one-year record of $700 million for real estate sales. That record was set four years ago.

Sale of several big ranches are driving these record-breaking numbers. Ross Perot Jr. bought a ranch that had been listed at $110 million, while another ranch sold for $37 million. On the other hand, fewer of the $1 million-plus houses have been sold this year as compared to the benchmark year of 2000, noted the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

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