Singular urban plan looks for a Blaine
By PAT MURPHY
Express Staff Writer
A unique demonstration project that links
smart growth land-use to transportation needs, water use and the environment
will be considered for somewhere in Blaine County at a 1:30 p.m. April 22
meeting at the old Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey.
The concept might resemble a project just
completed in Caldwell, population 18,000, located between Boise and the Oregon
In the Caldwell project, a five-square
mile area was designated for master planning, requiring participation of dozens
of public and private sector representatives coordinated by the University of
Idaho’s Idaho Urban Research and Design Center and led by Todd Maguire of the
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
Maguire will outline the Caldwell project
during the April 22 meeting as a possible model for a site in Blaine County.
The city of Hailey has expressed an
interest in such a master plan concept, possibly for undeveloped area east of
Highway 75 across from the new Albertson’s store.
Blaine County Commissioner Sarah Michael,
who invited Maguire to make a presentation here after being briefed by Maguire
on the Caldwell project, has mentioned the so-called large, undeveloped Eccles
property south of Friedman Memorial Airport between Hailey and Bellevue as
another candidate for master planning.
Key to the workability of master planning
an impact area is a "charrette"—a compressed, limited time conference of
participants with a stake in a designated area to produce a design embodying the
best land-use, drainage, transportation, commercial and environmental ideas.
The French word "charrette" means a
handcart that was used to collect students’ papers quickly.
In Caldwell, participants were divided
into three teams in the design: one devoted to focusing on economic issues in
the master planned area, one to community interests and the third to ecological
The U.S. Environmental Projection Agency
through the state DEQ provides funds for such a project. The Caldwell project
cost about $90,000, Maguire said, and the results are now being prepared in a
However, some information is available at
a Web site (www.AA.Uidaho.edu/iurdc/sci).
In her invitation to city officials of
Hailey, Ketchum, Bellevue and Sun Valley as well as several civic groups to
attend the April meeting, Commissioner Michael indicated that a draft proposal
for master planning a Blaine County project could be pulled together by late
May, finalized and submitted for funding in June and work begun in September.