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The Battle of Avimor moves to the courtroom

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The court documents say it all. In a terse, three-page appeal filed at state District court, Boise City lawyers assert that the recently-approved Avimor development "will create an adverse impact as the City's infrastructure will be heavily utilized without the benefits of the Avimor residents sharing in associated taxes needed to support the infrastructure."

In other words, we get all the traffic and pollution, but none of the cash.

But Boise Mayor Dave Bieter isn't shy about pushing another point: that Ada County Commissioners had their decision made long before Arizona-based Suncor had finished jumping through all the county's hoops.

"As part of the appeal, we want to make sure that the county's decision to approve the SunCor project was legal and justified," Bieter said in a prepared statement. "For example, we know that the county's staff initially recommended that the Avimor project be denied or redesigned to comply with the county's comprehensive plan. Later, county staff recommended approval."

There's no love lost between Boise City Hall and the county offices just a few blocks away, but the latest move by Bieter seems destined to further push the parties apart. It's poor timing, considering that the Treasure Valley's local governments are supposed to be working together to plan how the area grows. But now even participation in the area's "Blueprint for Good Growth" seems jeopardized, whether because of political differences, the legal snub presented by Bieter's appeal, or the vision thing. Suncor, of course, isn't about to back down now.

"We don't believe they have standing and they certainly don't have jurisdiction," said Bob Taunton, a spokesman for Suncor who will be Avimor's manager. His company filed a motion Monday to intervene in the case, and anyone who thinks they won't fight hard for their baby is mistaken.

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