A Gorge-ous House?
A contentious property rights battle is brewing in Washington state over the building of a large house that many say is marring the natural landscape of the Columbia River Gorge. Construction of the house, started two years ago, has been stalled because an oversight panel known as the Columbia River Gorge Commission has overruled county approval for the building. The panel was created in the mid-1980s under a law intended to protect the gorge area; the law requires anything built in the gorge to be “visually subordinate” to the natural landscape. The case is headed to court this summer, with environmentalists and property rights advocates paying rapt attention.