Star Valley Wants 750-Acre Donation

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An on-again, off-again, on-again six-cabin time-share project and discussion about whether the newly incorporated town can sweet-talk the U.S. Forest Service out of donating 750 acres headline the agenda for the Tuesday Jan. 15 Star Valley Town Council meeting.

Completely surrounded by federal lands, the Town Council on Tuesday will ponder whether to ask for help from the state's congressional delegation to convince the Forest Service to donate scattered land around town, including one parcel on which the town would like to build a town hall and civic center.

Federal law does provide for such donations to serve vital public needs, but federal land exchanges are a generally complex and time consuming proposition.

One recent federal land exchange resulted in the federal government trading public land, 220 acres near the Payson airport, for private land but only after more than a decade of effort during which 90 percent of the original proposed swap evaporated.

In addition, the Star Valley council will consider a luxury time-share project that was approved in principle two meetings ago, then rejected at its last meeting, after public objections that centered on a plan to use well water for fishing ponds and questions raised about drainage by the Gila County Flood Control District.

Posey Court LLC wants a zone change to allow it to build six 3,500-square-foot cabins in a mountain setting with their own stream and fishing ponds on six acres, which would each be sold as time-share ownerships to up to 10 families.

The developer will meet with the council to explain the project during a 5:30 study session before the meeting.

A hearing on a renewed request to approve the PAD overlay to make it easier to sell the cabins as time shares will then be the topic of a public hearing during the meeting.

The regular Star Valley Town Council meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. in Star Valley Baptist Church at 4180 East Highway 260.

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