Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hailey P&Z rejects Quigley annexation

City Council to judge fiscal impacts, water rights

Express Staff Writer

The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-2 Monday to recommend that the City Council deny a three-year-old annexation request intended to bring up to 440 new homes into Quigley Canyon, east of the city.

Commissioners Owen Scanlon, Geoffrey Moore and Mark Johnstone (the latter two of whom were running for mayor) voted to deny the request because it was not in compliance with the city's 2007 comprehensive plan. Commissioners Michael Pogue and Janet Fugate voted against the motion to deny the annexation.

The P&Z will send a report of 65 conditions that it recommends placing upon the developer should his plan move forward at the City Council level.

The council had remanded a revised development plan to the P&Z several weeks ago because it contained substantial changes from a plan developer Dave Hennessy presented three years ago. The original plan included a public golf course, Nordic center and skiing, hiking and biking trails.

Hennessy's latest plan includes few public amenities and more homes, clustered primarily at the mouth of Quigley Canyon.

The P&Z took issue with plans for unpaved roads, septic tanks, unanswered wildlife-impact concerns and potential infrastructure costs to Hailey taxpayers associated with the development.

"This development should not cost Hailey one dime," Scanlon said.

Several people spoke for and against the development during a public hearing Monday, following 15 letters and emails in opposition to the annexation that were sent to the P&Z in the last few days.

Hailey resident Scott Phillips said a "network of citizens" in east Hailey is determined to oppose the Quigley development.

Woodside resident Robert Blakely and others supported the development, with some saying the city should work with Hennessy rather than risk losing control of the development to planners for Blaine County, which barring annexation has jurisdiction over the area.

Hennessy said he had "no idea" what he might try to develop in the county if his annexation fails, but has said that hiking and ski trails would "go away."

The City Council and mayor will review the P&Z report of conditions as they consider the annexation request.

Primary concerns for the council have been the value of an 1880 water right that the developer has offered the city as part of an annexation agreement, and the fiscal impact associated with the proposed development.

Community Development Director Beth Robrahn said consultant Kaplan Associates was recently hired by the city to study the potential impacts that the proposed development would have on city services.

In an interview, City Attorney Ned Williamson said a Boise-based firm was working on an appraisal of the water rights in Quigley and that the study should be completed in six weeks.

Tony Evans:

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