Friday, June 12, 2009

Quigley: Wrong place, wrong time


Gloria Carlton lives in Hailey.

By GLORIA CARLTON

Yes, the Quigley development plans are very nice. That said, Hailey doesn't need more empty lots, unsold homes, water users, increased sewage, traffic problems, golf courses or higher taxes, nor does Hailey need to destroy its last undeveloped beautiful canyon and wildlife habitat.

Is our City Council paying attention to the experts? The ones not hired by and paid by the developers? Have they met with the real estate agents to see how they are living? We've already heard the figures describing all the available empty lots in Hailey; homes currently for sale, the families losing their homes to foreclosure.

Water specialist Wendy Pabich clearly stated there isn't enough water, and submitted the facts and figures to prove it. The applicant states they've been measuring the water for the past six months: after a huge big-snow winter and an extremely rainy spring. Has everyone forgotten that we've had a drought for the past six or seven years? What if we have a drought again? Has the council checked to see how much our water table has dropped over the past 20 years?

What about Idaho Fish and Game? They say the canyon shouldn't be developed. They wanted to buy it to preserve it but didn't have the money. Is the council going to give those new homeowners permission to run off the wild game when they come down into the same wintering habitat they've been coming down into for hundreds of years and eat "valuable" landscaping? And what is the council going to do when the wolves and mountain lions follow their prey down into the neighborhoods? Have they already forgotten what happened last winter? Are we then going to try to kill all the carnivores, in order to please all the people living on their habitat (should anyone even happen to buy a lot, build on it and move into it)?

Hailey's traffic is already terrible. Has the council asked the police and fire departments what the projected increase in traffic accidents would be? I live on Eastridge Drive and the speeding traffic is so bad that a speed bump was installed at the intersection of Deerfield Drive and Eastridge. It was gone the next day, stolen. Our traffic problems can only be temporarily stopped by hidden radar. What does the council propose to do about it?

So far, nothing has been done and the problems have existed for years. Why will this be different? The applicant suggested painted bike lanes. We have painted bike lanes in Woodside. In the summer, they're covered with vehicles and trailers. In the winter, they're covered by snow. I wonder if the council realizes that we have bicyclists that ride year-round? In the winter, they ride down the middle of Woodside Boulevard because there isn't anywhere else for them to go.

What about the city of Hailey survey of priorities that the citizens are most concerned about? Do we remember where the golf course was? It wasn't at the top of the list—it was second from last. Wouldn't one think that if money could be made from a golf course we would already have one? Hundreds of golf courses all over the country are closing down.

From where is the money going to come to cover the costs of all the additional amenities, road maintenance, schools, police and fire services? It seems that we need to take care of the problems that the city is already facing before we start adding additional ones.

And what about all the unanswered questions asked by the citizens of Hailey at the meetings and in writing on the Web site? Don't they deserve some answers? Isn't our government supposed to be run by the people? This is all wrong. Very wrong.




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