A plan approved by Inyo County that allows a private developer to build a housing tract on the route leading to Mt. Whitney's trailhead is meeting opposition by area residents.
More than 300 people have signed a petition opposing the project, and 60 others have written letters to the county planning commission. The project calls for 27 houses and an equal number of 3,500-gallon water tanks to be constructed beside Whitney Portal Road, 4 1/2 miles south of Lone Pine.
Opponents note that the county's own general plan refers to the proposed construction site as a visual resource that should be protected, and they question the effect the tract would have on aquifers and groundwater-dependent plants.
-- Scott Doggett