Friday, June 12, 2009

Quail Creek project back on track

County OKs long-delayed affordable housing project


By JASON KAUFFMAN
Express Staff Writer

After several years of delay, construction of the Quail Creek subdivision, planned to include 39 community-housing units, is poised to begin.

The Blaine County Commission approved Tuesday a development agreement that paves the way for construction on the much-delayed Quail Creek residential project south of Ketchum.

The Quail Creek subdivision is proposed to be built on 23 acres in two neighborhoods on land south of St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center on the east side of state Highway 75. The development, originally approved by the commission back in 2006, includes a total of 87 free-market homes and 39 community-housing units.

The proposed 12.2-acre north neighborhood is situated between Highway 75 and the Wood River Trail. The proposed 11.17-acre south neighborhood would be located north and south of the east-west portion of Broadway Run, the existing access to The Meadows mobile home park.

Blaine County Planning Director Tom Bergin said the Quail Creek developers are still considering the option of leasing individual lots to homeowners for 99 years to help them defray the high cost of housing.

Approval of the development agreement sets forth the phasing for the project, among other things. Once county officials sign the final plat for the development—which lays out the property boundaries for each lot—the developers will be able to begin selling lots.

Calls to Quail Creek developer George Kirk were not returned before press time.

The first phase of the Quail Creek development is planned to include a total of 11 lots. Three of those lots will surround model homes that have already been built but have been sitting vacant. A lawsuit filed by neighboring landowners had delayed the development for the past three years.

The development agreement approved by the commission lays out a six-phase development plan. The original plan had envisioned just three phases.

How each phase of the Quail Creek subdivision is scheduled will be determined by the developers based on market conditions, the development agreement states.

The agreement requires the developers to complete certain offsite improvements as part of the development's approval. These include constructing a right-hand turn lane at the intersection of Highway 75 and Broadway Run.

The developers will also have to rebuild and re-surface the east-west segment of Broadway Run from the highway to the intersection with the north-south segment of Broadway Run. This work will include lowering the road's existing crossing of the Wood River Trails bike path to meet Blaine County Recreation District standards.

Jason Kauffman: jkauffman@mtexpress.com




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