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

Hailey should look where it’s going

Hailey seems to be hellbent on creating hundreds of acres of new light industrial property within its boundaries.

The city has two large light industrial developments before it, one near Woodside and another on Broadford Road. It is also considering annexation of a large open parcel east of State Highway 75 whose owner has requested Light Industrial zoning.

Mayor Brad Siemer is a light-industrial booster. He apparently sees it as a way to attract light industry to the valley and as a way to reduce the valley’s economic reliance on construction and tourism.

Before the city council follows the mayor, its members need to engage in some research and some healthy debate about where this road will lead.

If the city gluts the market with light industrial property, owners who want income from the property will either be forced to sell it or come in for a rezone. The most likely request will be for rezoning to commercial uses. This could open the door to the likes of Kmart or Walmart, a door Hailey fought to slam shut only a few years ago.

The city also needs to ask itself what effect a large amount of new light industrial property will have on its downtown core, which regularly has empty storefronts.

Hailey should slow down and look where it’s going.


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