For the week of July 14, 1999  thru July 20, 1999  

Hailey City Council: new zone, new budget, old Grubb


By DICK DORWORTH
Express Staff Writer

The Hailey City Council on Monday gave preliminary plat approval to a proposed light industrial development east of South Woodside.

Called Round-up Corral, the development is slated for property owned by local developer Chuck Grubb. Grubb has propsed a planned-unit development that would include donation of one of his three lots to the city to be used as a park. The city already owns an additional lot in the complex, upon which it is building its wastewater treatment plant.

The entire property has been the subject of litigation between Grubb and the city over a 1973 development agreement made between the city and a previous owner to leave the property open space.

The majority of Monday’s meeting was taken up by angry Woodside residents objecting to the proposed development and demanding that the 1973 agreement be upheld.

Tim Brown, Joe and Judy Stoltzfus, Glen Olson, Steve Fischman and others said they bought their land under the agreement that the land in question would not be developed.

Because the city is in the process of approving Round-up Corral in exchange for one of the parcels in it, Fischman accused the council of "making deals" at the residents’ expense.

Before Monday’s meeting, the land was not zoned, and Grubb had argued that he could develop the land as he pleased. The city had contended that the 1973 development agreement substituted for zoning.

However, in an interview after the meeting, city attorney Susan Baker said it could be legally difficult for the city to enforce the 1973 agreement due to changed circumstances since it was made.

Siemer, referring to the lengthy and costly court battles the city has fought with Grubb since 1991, told the Woodsidde residents, "Should we go to court? We would all like to harmoniously resolve this without going to court."

Grubb, earlier in the meeting, agreed with Siemer on this point. He said, "I feel strongly about property rights issues. I’d hate to see us involved in a protracted land dispute."

The council voted to zone the lot Grubb has proposed to develop Light Industrial. The lot proposed for donation to the city was zoned Recreational-Greenbelt. However, that designation is contingent upon approval of the proposed PUD and subsequent ownership by the city.

The lot containing the city’s wastewater treatment plant was zoned Technological Industrial. The fourth lot, which the city may buy, remains unzoned.

The council will consider final plat approval and PUD approval in a month or so.

"In the meantime, the city and Grubb will be talking about the status of lot 4 and hopefully reaching some agreement," Baker said.

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In other action, the council discussed the creation of a new zoning district, called Service Commercial Industrial (SCI), which combines Light Industrial and Technological Industrial zoning. It would include five sub-districts—office and sales, automotive, construction and warehouse.

The proposed zone was recommended by the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission and is being considered primarily because of property south of Friedman Industrial Park between Airport Way and Broadford Road. The land is owned by local developer Ron Sharp.

"I think the valley has to change its economy," Siemer said. "We need to shift to a multi-faceted economy and not rely so much on construction. I hope this will give us this kind of flexibility."

However, the council did not have time to consider the proposal because previous items on Monday’s agenda took up more time than anticipated.

While the council did not have time to discuss SCI zoning at length, city planner Carl Hjelm asked for and received permission from the council to consult with Sharp about the wording of the proposed SCI zoning ordinance, which Hjelm will draft. Siemer said to Hjelm, "And even if we didn’t give you permission, you could exercise your First Amendment rights."

The council will further consider the creation of the SCI zoning at its July 26th public meeting.

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Earlier, the council gave preliminary approval to Siemer’s over $3-million balanced budget for fiscal year 1999-2000. The vote was 3-1.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for Aug. 9.

Councilman Scott Basolo said he voted against the budget because it eliminates the city administrator position and replaces it with a new position titled "engineer." Basolo disagreed that the city needed its own in-house civil engineer, and he objected to the increased work load that would be placed on city office staff by the lack of an administrator. The city administrator position is currently held by Daryle James.

 

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