Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Citizens still fighting Croy development

Express Staff Writer

Croy Canyon residents continue to fight a proposed 34-lot subdivision about four miles west of Hailey known as Croy Creek Ranch.

"This is the first time we walked away feeling like the commissioners were listening to us," Nancy Richter, who lives on Cielo Drive, said about last Thursday's hearing with the Blaine County commissioners. "This is the step we prepared ourselves for. We really got into it and said 'OK, this is it, lets show them we're not stupid and collect some data.'"

Richter said several residents in Croy banned together to challenge the development, which would be built across 471 acres owned by Kent and Mary McAtee near the intersection of Croy Creek Road and Rock Creek Road. She said each person focused on a certain concern associated with the development—zoning, wildlife, water, flooding, septic, roads, etc.—before addressing the commissioners.

"It was really interesting to watch various neighbors express what they had looked into," Richter said.

Other residents included Ted Angle, Judy Harrison, Vance Hanawalt and Brian Emerick.

Commissioner Sarah Michael said she was concerned after discovering several inconsistencies between what the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended and what the developer, David Alexander, is now proposing.

For example, in the initial proposal Alexander said the development would include 12 community housing units—six on-site, six off-site. That was later reduced to six off-site community housing units. Now, the plan doesn't include any community housing. Instead, Alexander said he will pay the Blaine-Ketchum Housing Authority $300,000.

"That needs to be looked at," Michael said.

Michael said she was also concerned about the square footage of the homes, the availability of water, and wildlife issues.

The entire proposal, which would include 30, 1.5-acre lots and four estate-sized lots between 30 and 40 acres in size, hinges on the approval of a rezone. Most of the land is zoned A-20 (productive agriculture, one unit of development per 20 acres). The development could not be built unless that land was rezoned A-10 (unproductive agriculture, one unit of development per 10 acres).

The commissioners continued the review until Sept. 12.

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