Plaintiffs believe land swap gives developers a ‘free pass’
By: Luke Perkins, Durango Herald
April 19, 2017
The saga of the Village at Wolf Creek entered a new chapter in Denver Wednesday as oral arguments in a pending lawsuit were heard by a federal judge.
The controversy spans more than three decades since Texas billionaire B.J. “Red” McCombs proposed the development in the 1980s on behalf of the Leavell-McCombs Joint Venture.
The previous chapter, which sparked Wednesday’s hearing, was the approval of a land swap between the U.S. Forest Service and the privately owned venture in 2014. This swap would transfer 205 acres of Rio Grande National Forest land for 177 acres of privately owned land.
The transaction is crucial for the proposed development, as it grants direct access to U.S. Highway 160. The development would include hotels, town homes, condominiums and restaurants and is estimated to accommodate 8,000-10,000 people.
A group of local environmental organizations, the Friends of Wolf Creek, claim in the lawsuit against the Forest Service that it colluded with developers to push through an Environmental Impact Statement that did not fully investigate the effects of the project.
Read more at The Durango Herald.