Friday, February 2, 2007

New Hailey bank gets green light

Pioneer Federal Credit Union to be built south of Albertsons

Express Staff Writer

Graphic courtesy of Hailey Planning Department The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission approved Monday the design for a new Hailey Pioneer Federal Credit Union building. The building, above, will be built on a narrow lot south of Albertsons supermarket in northern Hailey.

A Hailey builder finally has the go ahead to begin the challenging job of building the new office of the Hailey Pioneer Federal Credit Union on a very narrow lot on Main Street.

The bank's current location is 8 West Myrtle St. in Hailey.

The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved Monday the design of the proposed bank building.

The new bank is planned for a narrow lot next to the private drive immediately south of and behind the Albertsons supermarket on Main Street. Rather than facing Main Street, however, the front of the building, as well as its primary parking area, will be aligned along the private drive.

Sent back to the drawing board at a meeting last December, building applicant Bruce Bothwell returned to Monday's meeting with all of the P&Z's suggested design revisions in place.

The changes included a more pedestrian-friendly Main Street façade, more attractive wooden siding on the bank's rear wall and a more hidden trash enclosure on the building's west side.

The revisions apparently worked, as the P&Z quickly gave its approval.

Bothwell designed the new Pioneer Federal Credit Union building in a "Western lodge" style.

To that end, the building's exterior will include cedar plank siding and several dormer windows on the roof.

"I wanted a mountain look. We're in a mountain area," Bothwell said last December.

One reason why the lot presented something of a design challenge for Bothwell was its perpendicular alignment to Main Street.

Gaining the approval of the P&Z was especially difficult given Hailey's desire to have buildings present an attractive façade to Main Street.

For now, the narrow lot is used as an informal vehicle parking area.

"It's a real difficult lot," Bothwell said. "We had to build narrow and long."

At the moment, the P&Z is also in the midst of a lengthy design review process for another proposed bank building farther south.

The main tenant of the mixed-use commercial and residential building, proposed for the southwest corner of Main and Chestnut streets, would be D.L. Evans Bank.

Last December, the P&Z sent architects with Boise-based Erstad Architects back to the drawing board. Among other things, the P&Z asked them to consider ways of redesigning windows in the residential section, the extent and use of stucco on the building's exterior and the location where a trash enclosure would be placed.

Near the end of that meeting, a clearly frustrated Andy Erstad expressed bewilderment with the direction taken by the commission.

On Wednesday, Hailey Planning Director Kathy Grotto said design review of the building has been tabled until the architects submit revised plans for the building.

"It could be a long delay," Grotto said. "It was tabled indefinitely."

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