Friday, June 23, 2006

Hailey may receive Croy property

Donation would specify that land remains open space

Express Staff Writer

The possible donation of 77 acres of open space west of Lion's Park in Hailey will be among a number of items on the City Council's agenda Monday.

The land, located adjacent to Lion's Park near the mouth of Croy Canyon, is primarily riparian in nature and is currently in an undeveloped state. The property contains a small portion of open hillside near the foot of Della Mountain.

The land is located outside of Hailey's city limits.

The property's owner, Bill Simons, has offered to donate the property as an unconditional gift to the city, City Clerk Heather Dawson said Thursday, just moments after she added the topic of the pending donation to council's meeting agenda for Monday. Simons will be present at Monday's meeting when the official offer to donate the property is made, Dawson said.

"It's wonderful to see philanthropic donations to city governments," she said.

Dawson noted that Simons is a member of the Friedman family. The Friedmans are perhaps best known for their donation of the property now occupied by Friedman Memorial Airport to the city of Hailey.

Plat notes for the property limit the land to its current natural state, but do allow for non-motorized access and passive recreational use.

The land to be donated is part of a larger property recently subdivided by Blaine County, despite the county's current moratorium on new subdivisions. County rules currently allow for the subdivision of property when more than 50 percent of the land is to be used for public purposes.

Of the five lots on the larger property—called the Croy Canyon Ranch Subdivision—lots 1 and 2 would be donated to Hailey. Lot 3 of the larger ranch property is currently under contract to be purchased by the Blaine County School District, while lot 4 is under contract to be purchased for a proposed eldercare facility.

If approved by the council (which Dawson said could take place as early as Monday), the actual donation would take place in two separate installments. The first 35 acres of the property would be given to the city immediately and the remainder in five years, Dawson said.

During Monday's meeting, the City Council also will be discussing the city's preliminary budget for the 2006/2007 fiscal year as well as a proposed demolition ordinance that would regulate the demolition of certain historic structures within the city.

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