Friday, July 7, 2006

Sweetwater looks sweet to Hailey commission

P&Z recommends approval of planned unit development


By JASON KAUFFMAN
Express Staff Writer

The largest single housing project ever proposed in Hailey has cleared a significant hurdle leading to potential city approval.

Hailey Planning and Zoning commissioners on Monday gave thumbs up to a planned unit development application submitted by developers of the Sweetwater Project, a proposed 421-unit residential development in southern Hailey.

The PUD application now goes to the Hailey City Council for final consideration. The council will first discuss the PUD at its July 24 meeting.

The Sweetwater Project is proposed for a 20-acre patch of vacant land located between state Highway 75 and Woodside Boulevard. It would straddle both sides of Countryside Boulevard.

Commissioners also approved a floodplain development permit for the project.

As part of its preliminary approval of the PUD, the commission gave its stamp of approval for a number of development waivers.

They include:

· A maximum height increase to 37 feet from 35 feet for some townhouses.

· A reduction in minimum front yard setbacks, from a minimum of 20 feet to eight feet on certain residential units.

· A reduction in side-yard setbacks to 5 feet from 10 feet, and minimum rear yard setbacks were reduced to 3 feet from 10 feet.

· A reduction in minimum length for approximately 19 percent of parking spaces in the development to 17 feet from 21 feet.

In exchange for these and several other waivers, Sweetwater Project developers have agreed to provide several public amenities. They include a 1.6-acre public park, a 5,200-square-foot park amenity building, a paved bike path between the Wood River Trails system and the northeast corner of the development, and several public transportation shelters. Developers have also agreed to pay for the engineering and installation costs of a traffic signal at the intersection of state Highway 75 and Countryside Boulevard.

Before construction can begin, P&Z commissioners must also go through a design review process for the development's various buildings, landscaping and signs. That process started Monday.

P&Z commissioners will continue design review discussions for the development on Aug. 7.




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