For the week of April 21, 1999  thru April 27, 1999  

Silver Sage Ranch gets thumbs down

Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission was split last Thursday in deciding whether to recommend approval or denial for a proposed subdivision north of Hailey.

The applicant, Silver Sage Ranch LLC, proposed to subdivide 15.77 acres of Chapman’s East Cloverly Ranch Lot 2 into 12 lots approximately one acre in size. The property is adjacent to the Northridge subdivision in the city of Hailey and is within the Hailey area of city impact.

P&Z chair Sandy Sullivan called the proposal the most unimaginable subdivision she had ever seen.

"It looks like the developer took a 12-acre pie, cut it into pieces and put a road through it," Sullivan said. "All it’s doing is taking away from the county and not giving back. Where’s the soccer fields, the softball park, the open space?"

P&Z member Jay Coleman responded by saying, "If we’re going to ask subdivisions to provide recreational amenities, than why are we spending big money on bonds to finance recreation district programs?"

According to Sullivan, the intent of her criticism was to send a message to developers that Blaine County is a special place and subdivisions should be designed with this in mind.

Referring to the design of the proposed subdivision, P&Z member Tom Bowman commented that "form is following function by cramming as many lots onto the property as possible."

The subdivision was designed with cost considerations to provide affordable housing for middle-class families, according to George Kirk, managing member of Silver Sage Ranch LLC. Regarding the subdivision proposal, Kirk said he didn’t see any conflicts with the county comprehensive plan or subdivision ordinance.

Sullivan agreed that the proposal meets the minimum standards of the county, but that "minimum standards are not where we should be approving subdivisions in Blaine County."

P&Z members Sullivan and Bowman voted to recommend denial of the proposed subdivision, while Coleman and Joel Graff voted for approval. Two members were absent.

Since the proposed subdivision is located within the Hailey area of impact, the county will only review the preliminary subdivision application and make recommendations to the city of Hailey, which will have final approval authority in the matter.


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