If the state strictly limits the number of float-home moorings on state-owned lakes, is that a free market? State Land Board members indicated Tuesday that it's not – and questioned a recommendation from the state lands staff to repeal the board's reasonable-rent policy for float-home tie-ups and throw the issue open to market forces.
"This is a very small marketplace," noted Attorney General Lawrence Wasden. Idaho forbids the permitting of any new float-home sites on Coeur d'Alene and Pend Oreille lakes, and there are only about 100 sites now on each of the two state-owned lakes.
Rather than adopt the staff's recommendation, the Land Board voted unanimously to form a subcommittee to research the issue. Three of the four members at the meeting – Gov. Butch Otter, state Controller Donna Jones and state schools Superintendent Tom Luna – were participating in their first Land Board meeting. "That would at least give me more time to learn more about this," Luna said.
Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, welcomed the Land Board's decision. "It's not the free market there – I think special considerations have to be given to at least the owners that are there now," Clark said. He said he and other area lawmakers have been meeting with float-home owners and hoped "to stop the Land Board from doing something stupid." Read the full story here in today’s Spokesman-Review.