Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Approval of Sweetwater project delayed by Hailey

Council to vote on PUD request July 31

Express Staff Writer

Final approval for the proposed 421-unit Sweetwater project in southern Hailey will likely take place at a City Council meeting on July 31.

During a public hearing on Monday, members of the City Council delayed making a final decision on the proposed development until they've been able to review a draft planned-unit-development agreement for the project.

Despite the delay, the City Council was unanimous in its support for the project.

"I commend everyone involved in this project," Hailey City Council President Rick Davis said.

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

The project would be the largest housing development ever proposed in the city of Hailey. Developers of the project envision its mix of various housing types being affordable to the Wood River Valley's working families.

During Monday's meeting, the list of waivers requested by developers of the project as part of their PUD request were foremost among the items discussed by the council.

The waivers include:

• A maximum height increase to 37 feet from 35 feet for some townhouse structures.

• A reduction in the minimum front-yard setback from a minimum of 20 feet to 8 feet on certain residential units.

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

Like his counterparts, Hailey Councilman Don Keirn voiced support for the waivers.

"I think they're all logical and well thought out," Keirn said. "I think they'll add to the project."

In exchange for these and several other waivers, developers have agreed to provide a number of public amenities. These include a 1.6-acre public park, a 5,200-square-foot park amenity building and several public transit shelters. The developers have also agreed to pay for the engineering and installation costs of a traffic signal at the intersection of Highway 75 and Countryside Boulevard.

Hailey Planning and Zoning commissioners have already begun the design review process on the project. They will continue the review at an Aug. 7 public meeting.

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