Wednesday, May 23, 2007

County seeking waiver for tower on new jail

Hailey mayor expresses concerns

Express Staff Writer

While the new Blaine County jail is scheduled to open in Hailey by fall 2008, plans could face a roadblock if Hailey's Planning and Zoning Commission has a similar reaction to an expected waiver request as its City Council has.

Hailey's council members have expressed concern over an expected proposal by the Blaine County Commission that the P&Z waive the height restriction of Hailey's ordinance regulating cell towers in the town.

The communications tower, which would be about 75 feet tall and part of a new county jail, was not included in the project plans the P&Z approved in February.

At a meeting on Monday, May 21, Hailey Mayor Susan McBryant presented a letter she wrote to P&Z Chairwoman Stephanie Marvel requesting that Marvel check if her commission has the legal authority to waive the ordinance.

McBryant also asked Marvel to make sure proper notice is posted in order to inform the public of when the P&Z will be hearing the county commissioners' request for the waiver, thus allowing residents the opportunity to voice their opinions.

"I think this is a request for the greater good, but that it will have a deleterious effect (on) the citizens of Hailey," McBryant said Monday.

The mayor also wants the city's planning staff to brief the P&Z on the reasoning behind the original adoption of the height ordinance so they fully understand why it's in place.

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