Friday, July 21, 2006

County to review 34-lot development near Hailey

Express Staff Writer

Croy Canyon west of Hailey could soon be the site of a new 34-lot subdivision.

A proposed planned-unit development (PUD) known as Croy Creek Ranch would be built on 471 acres owned by Kent and Mary McAtee. The land is near the intersection of Croy Creek Road and Rock Creek Road, about four miles west of Hailey.

The Blaine County Commission will continue its review of the proposal during a public hearing Tuesday, July 25, at 1:30 p.m. in the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.

The approval of the PUD hinges on the approval of a requested rezone. About 440 acres are currently zoned A-20 (active agriculture/one unit of development per 20 acres), but the McAtees and David Alexander, who filed the application, claim the land is not productive in agriculture and should actually be zoned A-10, which is the minimum requirement for a PUD in Blaine County.

The remainder of the property is already zoned A-10 or R-5.

If the rezone is approved, the applicants can receive a density bonus of 20 percent, which is the standard for PUDs in the A-10 zoning district.

In exchange for the increased densities, the applicants proposes to pave 6,800 feet on Croy Creek Road and 3,880 feet on Rock Creek Road. The developers would also construct two bus shelters to meet Blaine County School District requirements and provide land for a future fire station near the intersection of Rock Creek and Croy Creek roads.

Four of the 34 lots would be estate-size, in the neighborhood of 35 acres each. The rest would be 1.5 acres.

About 76 percent of the property would remain open space with wildlife migration corridors maintained. Willow, aspen and dogwood trees would be planted in select areas and restoration work would occur in Croy Creek.

Although the application was submitted in December 2004, more than a year before the county passed an ordinance requiring all future subdivisions to include 20 percent community housing, the applicants plan to provide six off-site affordable housing units.

No commercial development is proposed.

The Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the development for approval in March 2006. The county commissioners first reviewed the application in a public hearing June 20.

County Commissioner Tom Bowman said his primary concern with the project is the proposed septic systems, which could require special features due to the high level of groundwater in the area.

"I was hoping they would come back to us with a design that didn't require those special systems," Bowman said.

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