Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Hailey set to consider subdivision moratorium

Special meeting scheduled for Friday

Express Staff Writer

The Hailey City Council Monday set a special meeting for Friday to discuss the possibility of placing a moratorium on housing subdivisions for six months.

The goal of the moratorium would be two fold: to give the city time to rewrite the subdivision ordinance and to write a new ordinance to set impact fees.

An important factor is the role of community housing in Hailey. The challenge is balancing growth with the needs of the city's work force. The council is wresting with imposing more work on city staff already burdened with numerous annexation applications.

Councilwoman Carol Brown summarized that the annexations are consuming too much of city staffers' time.

"(We) want staff devoted to people who are already in the city," she said.

Councilman Don Keirn said every report on the issue says residential housing doesn't pay for itself. Mayor Susan McBryant said the topic immediately identifies what is going on in Hailey.

"Those who will protest the loudest are those that have the most to gain," she said. "The political heat will be enormous. Hailey has deed-restricted units and gets no credit for this. Anyone who is thinking about plans will get them into the city in the morning."

Brown said she would commit time to working on the subdivision ordinance line by line. She said a realistic time frame is six months.

Planning Director Kathy Grotto said she could be tied up with annexation application work for the next three years. A consultant could be employed to help write the ordinance.

The council will meet at 12:30 on Friday, July 1, to discuss the moratorium issue further.

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