approval of high school PUD
about expected traffic increase
Express Staff Writer
recommendation passed by the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission last
week could mean higher rooftops and fewer parking spaces than would
normally be required at a proposed new Wood River High School.
also mean up to 5,000 car trips a day to and from the high school campus
if a proposed PUD requested by the school district is approved by the
Hailey City Council.
chairwoman Becki Keefer made that estimate, and a warning, during the
P&Z’s meeting Thursday, because, she said, she "wanted the
school district to hear this. These are scary numbers." The district
now has two recommendations from the P&Z before the city council--
passage of the PUD and annexation of the property the school would be
district is also seeking approval for its design review application, but a
meeting on that has not been scheduled. Design review considers such
things as traffic circulation, landscaping and parking associated with the
annexation and PUD applications must be approved by the city council
before construction on the school can begin. Project planner John Gaeddart
told the P&Z he hoped for council approval at its meeting Aug. 13.
that, so far, the P&Z has not heard much from the public about the
traffic that will be going to the proposed new school.
said the current high school now serves 713 students. The population of
the new high school is expected to be about 1,000 by 2003.
existing school has 267 paved parking spaces and room for an additional 76
vehicles in unofficial, unpaved spaces. The new school would have about
600 paved spaces and 761 unpaved spaces.
district is requesting fewer parking spaces in its PUD application, 1,361
reduction, the number of spaces aroused concern.
that for every parking space, the road out of the high school campus, Fox
Acres Road, could expect a car making two to four trips a day.
added "traffic calming" features on the road as a condition of
its recommendation for approval of the PUD. The 761 unpaved spaces would
be on four overflow lots, which include the current practice soccer field.
The P&Z placed a condition on its PUD recommendation that overflow
parking on the soccer field be only once a year.
would also permit the school gymnasium to be 50 feet high. Maximum
building height in Hailey is 35 feet.
Pat Cooley asked the chief architect of the project, Scott Henson of
Lomard-Conrad Architects of Boise, if excavation for the gym could be 10
feet deeper and thus lower its height. Project engineer Dave Cole of
Benchmark Associates said he estimated it would cost $300,000 for each
additional foot excavated.
that, District Superintendent Jim Lewis said "We’re not a private
developer. We’re on a set budget, and those kinds of figures really make
me nervous. "
for exemption from normal height restriction and number of parking spaces
granted by the PUD, the district is required to grant some benefit to the
city in return.
the P&Z the city could expect public access to the school’s
facilities. He said the public could use the gymnasium when classes are
not in session, perhaps early in the morning.
another area where the proposed school would have dual use would be the
common area, which would be large enough to hold conferences and allow
Carol Brown asked about common usable space, another benefit the
commission expects from the PUD. School district attorney Rand Peebles
responded that of the 90 acres that make up the campus, only 17 would be
would urge you in your statement to the council that there is no need to
ask for additional open space because we already have so much open
P&Z had questions about future building projects on the campus,
concerned that the 73 acres of open space would dwindle.
offered another argument why the school district should not be held to a
requirement of providing open space—it is a public entity working with a
finite budget for the benefit of the public. It could not afford to give
up usable space by charging buyers more money, as private developers can.
commission directed Hailey city attorney Susan Baker to review the open
space issue. Additional open space requirements could be added as
conditions to approval of the PUD.