McCall Airport New Development Concerns

The Idaho Statesman is reporting that a development called 360º Ranch will put homes on newly subdivided parcels of land just south of the McCall Airport. The parcels would put homes in the airport’s inner critical zone — a boundary established by aircraft crash data, meant to protect pilots and nearby residents in the event of a crash. Airport Manager Emily Hart said in the last 20 years, there have been two crashes in the same area where the subdivision is planned.

“(The inner critical zone) is where no airport manager wants to see housing,” Hart said.

Unfortunately, the development has now been approved by Planning & Zoning.

In response, county officials issued an emergency order, requiring all land subdivisions to go through Planning and Zoning review unless they’re 160 acres or larger. Last month, the commission moved to make a more restrictive version of its emergency order permanent, requiring Planning and Zoning review of any subdivision, regardless of size.

Now, Valley County state legislator Rep. Terry Gestrin, R-Donnelly, has introduced House Bill 643, a bill that could potentially preempt the county commission’s efforts. The measure would create a statewide subdivision review exemption for parcels as small as 20 acres.

Critics of the bill say it could create a boom in poorly planned rural parcels.

And guess who supports it? None other than DF Development, a land development company owned by oil tycoons Dan and Farris Wilks. You know, the brothers who own hundreds of thousands of acres across Idaho and Montana and have sparked outrage in recent years for disputing road easements and shuttering those roads, effectively cutting off access to some public land.

If this is an issue you care about, one way or another, let your legislator know!

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