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For the week of April 2 - 8, 2003


Copper Ranch project gets green light

Hailey Council unanimously approves Copper Ranch PUD

Express Staff Writer

Hailey City Council members enthusiastically gave final approval this week to a proposal to remodel the former Ironwood Tennis Club facility in Woodside and build 135 condominiums on two adjacent properties.

The high-profile project—called Copper Ranch—was proposed by Lido Equities Group, a development group headed by chief executive officer Jeff E. Smith, a resident of Ketchum and Los Angeles.

After briefly considering the proposal Monday, March 31, council members granted Smith unanimous approval to build the Copper Ranch project as a planned-unit development.

"A PUD is about trade-offs," Councilwoman Carol Brown said. "And for me the trade-offs benefit the city tremendously."

A PUD essentially offers the developer specific benefits, such as variances to applicable zoning regulations, which are exchanged for concessions made to benefit the public.

All four council members, including Brown, Rick Davis, Don Keirn and Martha Burke, praised the project proposal as one of the finest that the city has ever seen.

"I think it is an incredibly well thought out project," Burke said.

Hailey Planning and Zoning commissioners on Feb. 18, unanimously voted to recommend that City Council conditionally approve the proposed PUD for the approximately 10-acre site along Woodside Boulevard.

The P&Z on the same date also issued design-review approval for the project’s structures, an element of the application that did not require City Council approval.

The Copper Ranch project includes:

  • Construction of 29 condominium buildings ranging in size from approximately 7,200 square feet to 4,300 square feet. Most structures would include five residential units and some would include three units.

  • Remodeling and enlarging the existing health-club facility. The club—called The Club at Copper Ranch—will include exercise facilities, a day-care room, lounge, locker rooms, 25-meter indoor swimming pool and hot tub in an approximately 13,600-square-foot building. The entire remodeled club would comprise approximately 36,000 square feet of facilities.

  • Three 576-square-foot commercial structures. The buildings would separately house a sales office, sports medicine center and sports pro shop.

The project’s first phase—to remodel the health club, build the commercial structures and construct two model residential structures—is scheduled to start in April. Construction of the remaining residential buildings is approved to take place in four subsequent, six-month-long phases lasting until April 2005.

Lido Equities Group asked the city for approval of a PUD primarily because the project design includes a private street and encroaches into a setback on Woodside Boulevard.

As the primary concession to the public, project representatives agreed to pay an approximately $71,000 fee to the city specifically for the development of Woodside Central Park.

In addition, the developers plan to build a public bus stop at the site that could be used by Wood River Rideshare’s Peak Bus in future years.

City officials negotiated the $71,000 fee at the same time they stopped pursuing a commitment by the developers to guarantee limited, cost-free public use of the project’s recreational facilities. The P&Z had ordered that city officials should negotiate some guaranteed public use of the club as a public amenity.

The Club at Copper Ranch will be operated as a public facility. Brown told the developers she wants to see membership fees be "affordable."

The developers can still negotiate free use of the facilities to benefit the public, but such negotiations will not be conducted as a condition of the project permit, city officials noted.


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