Friday, October 13, 2006

And then it was no more

Workers begin demolition of Cutters Barn in Hailey

Express Staff Writer

Workers have begun the labor-intensive task of taking apart the Cutters Barn on the east side of Hailey. The property is slated to become the Old Cutters subdivision. As proposed by developers, the subdivision would include a mix of 149 single- and multi-family homes on a total of 116 residential lots. Photo by David N. Seelig

Express Staff Writer

Workers with a local demolition company have begun the labor-intensive task of taking apart the Cutters Barn east of Buttercup Road in Hailey.

The work is being done in advance of what developers hope will be a spring start on construction on the Old Cutters subdivision in northeast Hailey. As proposed by developers, the subdivision would include a mix of 149 single- and multi-family housing units on a total of 116 residential lots.

After a lengthy and sometimes contentious debate that lasted nearly three years, the Hailey City Council agreed to annex the Old Cutters property into the city on March 15 of this year.

The city granted a demolition permit for the Cutters Barn in mid-July, said Dave Ferguson, Hailey building official.

The demolition contractor is taking the barn apart in a manner that will allow him to rebuild it south of the Wood River Valley on land he owns, Ferguson said.

"It was just too good to destroy," he said.

Until not too long ago, the Cutters Barn had been considered for removal and reconstruction as the cover for the Hailey Ice Rink, which is still in the planning stages. That idea was abandoned, however, after it was determined that the barn wasn't appropriate due to structural issues.

Before construction work on the Old Cutters subdivision can begin, the City Council must approve several pending applications that recently gained the approval of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission.

At a meeting Aug. 21, the P&Z approved several text amendments to Hailey's zoning and subdivision ordinances. The amendments were proposed by developers of the Old Cutters subdivision but would also be applicable for other parts of the city.

The amendments would allow for the construction of what are called detached townhouse units. Such units could be built in all areas of Hailey that currently allow townhouse construction.

The freestanding units are proposed as a major component of the overall affordable housing plan for the Old Cutters subdivision and would range in size from about 600 to 1,200 square feet.

Patterned after similar developments that have been built in the Seattle area and in surrounding Pacific Northwest communities, up to 27 cottages in the Old Cutters subdivision would be clustered around central courtyards or community common spaces in four smaller "cottage developments" within the larger subdivision.

During same P&Z meeting on Aug. 21, the commissioners also voted to unanimously approve a preliminary plat application. The plat essentially subdivided the property and created 116 separate lots.

Hailey City Council meetings focusing on the issue are tentatively scheduled for Oct. 23 and Nov. 13, said Hailey City Planner Diane Shay.

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