Friday, August 10, 2007

Cove Springs review postponed

Consideration of large development proposal to begin Oct. 2

Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County Commission has decided to postpone its first meeting regarding the controversial Cove Springs subdivision until early October, county planner Stefanie Webster said Thursday.

Rather than begin consideration of the proposed development on Aug. 28 as was planned, commissioners this week elected to tentatively reschedule the hearings to begin on Tuesday, Oct. 2. The commissioners have also scheduled special meeting times at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4. The meetings will be held in the upstairs meeting room of the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.

The Cove Springs subdivision application is the single largest development proposal ever brought before Blaine County. The proposed subdivision would be located five miles southeast of Bellevue and would be capable of supporting more than 1,000 residents.

On Wednesday, Aug. 1, partners with the Cove Springs development project submitted a series of revisions to the existing subdivision plan to the county Planning and Zoning Department. The revisions are meant to address concerns expressed by the public and the Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission during the months-long public hearing process that stretched across much of 2006 and into this year.

Webster said it's unlikely that a decision from the county commission regarding the subdivision application would happen during the first three meetings, scheduled for Oct. 2-4.

She said the county commissioners could have asked the P&Z to submit comments on the revisions, but have chosen not to, at least for the time being.

The commissioners also still have the ability to remand the subdivision application back to the P&Z, essentially restarting an entirely new public hearing process, she said.

Webster said P&Z staff were not in discussions about changes to the development with the Cove Springs partners prior to their submittal of the project revisions.

"There wasn't any feedback from staff," she said.

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