Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Blaine 2025 campaign addresses growth issues

The Blaine County 2025 campaign was initiated by the Blaine County Commission in January 2005 to address future growth concerns.

At the same time, the commissioners enacted a moratorium on new subdivisions, which is set to expire in July.

The county also hired Clarion Associates, a national land-use and real estate consulting firm, to assist in a public outreach campaign and develop a strategy to deal with the anticipated growth surge—the county's population is expected to increase by at least 50 percent in the next 20 years.

According to Clarion, the feedback collected indicated that the majority of the public wants to focus growth and density near the cities and preserve open space and natural resources.

Four zoning ordinances were drafted by the county's planning staff and members of Clarion to best meet those objectives.

On April 6, the Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission began an extended public hearing and review process. They have met every Wednesday and Thursday since, and will render a decision on the ordinances after the final hearing April 27.

The commission can recommend approval, recommend denial, or recommend approval with a series of amendments and revisions. The recommendations will be made to the Blaine County Commission, which will then hold its own set of public hearings.

An additional three ordinances dealing with floodplain management and riparian setbacks; a wildlife overlay district; and a public land/resource conservation district will be introduced to the Planning and Zoning Commission in May.

The four proposed ordinances can be viewed on the county's Web site at

Public hearing schedule

Public hearings on Blaine County 2025 proposed zoning ordinances continue today, April 19; Thursday, April 20;Wednesday, April 26, and Thursday, April 27. All meetings will be held at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey and begin at 6:30 p.m.

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