Justus Ranch annexation app comes back
Hailey to hear ‘Colorado Gulch
Preserve’ plan Monday
By MATT FURBER
Express Staff Writer
After testing the waters of the Hailey
annexation application process last fall, Ketchum real estate broker and
developer Jeff Pfaeffle is bringing a revised proposal to the Hailey City
Council for consideration on Monday.
The plan Pfaeffle will present for the
180-acre parcel known as the Justus Ranch has been renamed Colorado Gulch
Preserve. The name change signifies the developer’s intention to deed a
three-quarter mile-long river corridor for public access.
He said 78 percent of the property, would
be preserved as open space, an amenity many citizens already share with cows
that currently graze on the property.
Annexation and preservation of public
access to the river would improve the quality of the public’s river front
experience, Pfaeffle said. "It would remove any questions about whether people
have permission to be here or not."
The property extends from Heagle Park
south of the Della View subdivision. It borders Broadford Road and extends south
and part way up Colorado Gulch Road across the Big Wood River.
Residential development is planned for
portions of the property closer to Broadford Road and in elevations of the
property that are above the 100-year flood plain along the river.
Who would take responsibility for the
stretch of river front property and how adjacent property will finally be
developed for residential housing is a matter of negotiation.
But Pfaeffle will present plans that show
65 lots to include community housing. Proposed lot sizes range from .2 to more
than 2 acres and would include some premier homes, Pfaeffle said.
On a tour of the property last week,
Pfaeffle ran into Della View resident and avalanche forecaster Doug Abromeit,
who initially had questions about the efficacy of the project. Abromeit and
other neighbors shared concerns last fall about the impact of development on
wildlife and hydrology.
Abromeit said there have been times when
he has waded through water on the property, but he added that if it is designed
properly the project could be a good thing for the city. He showed renewed
support for the project and planned to attend Monday’s meeting.
Pfaeffle said engineering and design plans
he has for the property take into account hydrological complexities and
represent a good use of the property.
"I have to trust the judgment of the
engineers," he said.
Pfaeffle said he hopes the city is now
more prepared to review the plan.
He said annexation fees collected by the
city should cover the cost of the impact on city services in both the short and
the long term.
He also said he views the development as a
natural extension of city boundaries, which as a residential property would
conform with the character of bordering city property. The property parallels
the Airport West Industrial Park. City water and sewer lines already run by the
property on Broadford Road.
Pfaeffle said he would agree to make
improvements to the crumbling county road up to the existing city boundary if
annexation is approved.
Focussing on the riverfront access
component of the project Hailey Parks and Lands Board, chairwoman, Becki Keefer,
voiced support for the project.
"Jeff has been trying very hard to include
things in his proposal that are valuable to the public," she said.