Express Staff Writer
latest incarnation of a proposed transfer-of-development-rights
ordinance would take in all the residential-zoned area in Blaine County
as a receiving area.
proposals made by county commissioners during a meeting at the Old
County Courthouse on Sept. 25 were intended to address objections to a
previous draft that would have clustered receiving areas around Hailey
intent of a TDR program is to help preserve south-county agriculture by
allowing farmers to profit from the increasing value of their land
without selling it outright.
proposed, it would create 5,300 acres of "sending areas" on
Agricultural-zoned land south of Pero Road. The owners of property there
could sell the rights, at a free-market price, to create as many lots as
the zoning for their property allows. Those rights would be transferred
to the owners of land in "receiving areas," who could create
one extra lot beyond that allowed by current zoning for each TDR
previously proposed "receiving area" map, presented during a
commissioners’ meeting in July, met with resistance from Hailey and
Bellevue city officials, who felt that it encroached upon their
authority to plan development on land likely to someday be included
within their borders.
response, the commissioners decided to scrap the creation of a
designated receiving area entirely. Instead, each application to acquire
a TDR would be decided on an individual basis, judged upon its
conformity to the county’s comprehensive plan and its compatibility
with surrounding development.
can ask, but there will be no guarantees," Commissioner Mary Ann
Mix said about the process to the approximately 25 people attending last
Wednesday night’s meeting.
Dennis Wright said an application for a TDR will go through a process
identical to that for a rezoning application. That means first obtaining
a recommendation from the planning and zoning commission, then approval
from the county commissioners.
an extremely thorough and open process," he said.
the proposed elimination of designated "receiving areas,"
Hailey and Bellevue city officials maintained objections to the program.
Mayor Al Lindlay contended that increased density on Hailey’s and
Bellevue’s outskirts will increase traffic, sewage volumes and
county is transferring a load to the cities and there’s no
compensation for it," Lindlay said.
Mayor John Barton and Councilman Parke Mitchell suggested that the TDR
program be suspended until an area-of-city-impact agreement is in place
for Bellevue. Barton contended that annexation of surrounding areas into
the cities is a more orderly way to increase density there than a TDR
program would be.
also pointed out that the elimination of designated receiving areas
close to Hailey and Bellevue does not mean residents there can breathe a
sigh of relief. It just means that the whole county north of Pero Road
is now a receiving area, he said.
county farmer Larry Schoen, a member of the citizens advisory committee
that developed the proposed TDR program, contended that any means of
fostering development in or around the cities will benefit them.
Mayor Barton want to continue to see vacant lots on Main Street in
Hailey and Bellevue, or does he want to see development…that will make
the cities become more thriving places?" Schoen asked.
interview, Commissioner Dennis Wright said he doubted that any TDR
program will be heavily used, and he therefore found it difficult to
understand the level of anxiety the proposal has created. It’s not, he
said, a case of "once they open the floodgates, then here they
come." He pointed out that anyone, anywhere, can already apply to
the county for a rezone of his or her property, in terms of both use and
not a threat to anyone’s way of life or to future growth or to
anything else," he said.
Ketchum resident and public meeting habitue Mickey Garcia challenged the
TDR program’s goals themselves.
you knew squat about economics, you’d know you can’t save
farms," he said during last week’s meeting. "You’re (just)
creating estates for wealthy people."
contended that due to the flat terrain and ease of access there, the
county should be encouraging development south of Bellevue, not trying
to prevent it.
Chairwoman May Ann Mix set a date of Nov. 18 for a public hearing and
vote on a TDR ordinance.