County scraps TDR
Express Staff Writer
aloft for the third time in five months, a proposed Blaine County
transfer-of-development-rights ordinance was shot down again on Monday.
intent of a TDR program is to preserve open space in the south county by
allowing farmers and ranchers to sell development rights, as limited by
their propertyís zoning, to the owners of land farther north.
original proposal, dating at least to 1999, designated "receiving
areas" in Agriculture-zoned land north of Pero Road. That was
modified in July in favor of receiving areas around Hailey and Bellevue,
when the county commissioners decided the comprehensive plan dictates
that development occur closer to the countyís cities. That
configuration was scrapped in September after Hailey and Bellevue
officials protested that it encroached upon their planning authority.
conceptís third incarnation, put before the public Monday, scrapped
the idea of designated receiving areas entirely. Instead, each
application for transfer of a development right would have been decided
individually, judged by the proposed developmentís conformity to the
comprehensive plan and its compatibility with surrounding development.
Tacked on to that was a proposed requirement that the builders of homes
larger than 4,500 square feet buy one development right for each
additional 2,500 square feet of space.
requirement, in particular, brought protests Monday in a packed meeting
room at the Old Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey. Most of the
objectors were in the construction business, but even the commissioners
acknowledged that the draft may have been too hastily conceived.
think itís a bogus link," said Jed Gray, representing the
Sawtooth Board of Realtors. "If we want to restrict the size of
houses in Blaine County, I donít have a problem with that, but I think
we need to do something thatís not related to the TDR program."
Hennessy, president of the Building Contractorsí Association of the
Wood River Valley, went further, saying all his organizationís members
oppose any restrictions on house size since such a thing would harm the
areaís economy. Builder Steve Kearns said construction of one big
house employs about 500 people.
Karl Bick pointed out that an ordinance limiting house size in Teton
County near Jackson, Wyo., is before the Wyoming Supreme Court. He
called the proposed 4,500-square foot limit "extremely
wonder if, taken on, youíre going to be able to sustain your
position," he said.
public comment, Commissioner Dennis Wright said his support for a TDR
program had waned with each new incarnation. In conclusion, the
commissioners voted to postpone further drafts until they talk with
Hailey and Bellevue officials about areas of city impact there.
designations affect city planning since, under state law, cities can
only annex land within their area of city impact, unless annexation is
requested by a landowner. The areas are established by negotiation
between the county and each city. Hailey and Bellevue have agreed upon a
line between them, but that line has not been accepted by the county,
which would like to see space between the two areas.
meeting of the Hailey City Council is set for noon Thursday to discuss
the subject. Bellevue Planning and Zoning Administrator Steve Almquist
said Tuesday that he is writing a new draft area-of-city-impact proposal
to put before the city council at its meeting Dec. 12.