Friday, October 20, 2006

Affordable housing plan unveiled for Peregrine Ranch

Tentative plans call for 14 or 15 units near golf course

Express Staff Writer

Plans for the proposed mid-valley Peregrine Ranch subdivision include 14 or 15 deed-restricted affordable housing units set near a golf course.

Jeff Loomis, an engineer with Galena Engineering, presented initial plans to the Blaine-Ketchum Housing Authority's board of directors during a meeting Wednesday evening at Sun Valley City Hall.

Developer Harry Rinker is proposing to build the subdivision's 68 lots along a nine-hole golf course on 158 acres of property between Highway 75 and Buttercup Road. Plans for development at Peregrine Ranch have not yet been formally reviewed or approved. The property is under the jurisdiction of Blaine County.

The deed-restricted units would be added to the development on about seven acres at its southeast corner.

"It would definitely be a unique scenario to have affordable units along a golf course," Loomis said.

In an interview, Loomis said there has not yet been a decision made on whether the golf course would be open only to buyers of the market-rate units, to residents of the deed-restricted units as well, or to the public.

Under county regulations, the development is required to provide affordable housing units equal to 20 percent of the number of market-rate units. Loomis said plans also include construction of six deed-restricted units on a .6-acre lot in Hailey.

He said his firm is preparing a planned-unit-development application to present to the county, for which a pre-application meeting is set for Oct. 31.

Loomis said the development is being designed by David A. Clinger and Associates of Golden, Colo. A drawing of the plans Loomis presented to the board showed seven, two-story houses with garages connecting each pair. He said each house would have no windows on the first floor on the north side in order to have yards there for use by residents in the adjoining house.

"It's a way to put units closer together and still have yards," he said. "(Clinger) leaves a lot of room for open space."

Loomis asked the board to relax its usual policy of integration of deed-restricted units with the rest of a development in order to permit the proposed design. He said houses costing about $2 million, and occupied largely by part-time residents, would probably be built on the market-rate lots.

"Having affordable housing right next to that, with full-time residents, I don't know if that fits," he said.

Board members expressed approval of the house designs, but skepticism of the segregated plan. Loomis said the plan is in the initial stage and could be changed.

Drew Sanderford, the authority's associate director, said the affordable units' location near a golf course would give its residents a nice view, but urged board members to consider whether they wanted to "stick people in a place with amenities they can't use."

Board members also expressed concern about the location of the units near a power line that crosses the property.

In other action, the board:

· Authorized publication of a quarterly newsletter, which would be sent in printed form to 200 people and in electronic form to an additional 300 people.

· Asked its staff to prepare draft documents to set out the authority's policies on accepting land in place of buildings in certain circumstances when construction of affordable housing is required of a developer.

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