County P&Z OKs
church in Cold Springs
Express Staff Writer
congregation of the Light on the Mountain Spiritual Center has a new place
to worship following a vote by the Blaine County Planning and Zoning
Commission to allow a home near the Cold Springs neighborhood to be
converted into a church.
controversial proposal barely passed on a three-to-two vote during a
public hearing Thursday night in Hailey. Commission Chairwoman Suzanne Orb
and Commissioner Judy Harrison voted against the proposal. Commissioners
Dick Springs, Mark Gasenica and Joel Graff voted in favor. Commissioners
Jerry Allred and Donald Nurge were absent.
the idea said the church would pave the way for more unwanted
nonresidential development in the area a few miles south of Ketchum, and
would disturb nearby residents with bright parking lot lights and added
noise and traffic.
lawyer Ed Lawson, appearing for the first time on the congregationís
behalf after two previous hearings left the matter undecided, pointed out
that the county does not allow churches in any zoneóonly as a
conditional use in residential zones. Therefore, the P&Z should
approve this proposal.
cities have their own rules concerning the locations of churches.
other nonresidential uses already exist in the area in the form of a
nursery and State Highway 75 and that the church would provide a
"transitional" use between those and Cold Springs.
"it is exactly the fact that the area is undefined that I am
concerned about the church moving in and defining it," one of the
approximately 40 residents who attended the hearing said.
Coleman, an ex-P&Z commissioner who, along with a handful of other
land-use planning advocates has recently criticized the commission as
being too lax, asked for a definition of the intended character of the
Cold Springs area. The P&Z did not offer a definition.
P&Zís review of the application, Commissioner Harrison said she was
concerned about what effect the church could have on future development.
we do today will impact the future," she said.
and Chairwoman Orb also felt that a planned parking lot would be too close
to the highway at less than 100 feet away.
hate to be opposed to something like this, but I see it as just not
complying with the intended character of the area," Orb said.