Friday, February 10, 2012

County leaders face full plate

Commissioners to discuss Blaine Manor, hillside ordinance

Express Staff Writer

The Blaine County commissioners have a heavy slate of agenda items next week, taking on issues from the future of senior care to modifications of the Mountain Overlay District.

Neither issue is expected to be resolved; both are ongoing issues, and senior care will be the subject of at least four more county meetings in the upcoming month.

Modifications to the Mountain Overlay District—through which 41 sites may be removed and thus opened to development—are also on the agenda later this month.

The Mountain Overlay District is an area that the county has determined to be unsuitable for development due to the land's steep slope. It was defined by former county Planner Jeff Adams using computer-mapping software. However, the software was not totally accurate, and in setting the district boundary it divided property lines and included flat areas that could be safely developed.

The commissioners are likely to spend most of the two-hour public hearing on Tuesday afternoon discussing the Cold Springs Bench, a 40-acre parcel behind St. Luke's Wood River that was originally included in the district in 1991.


Though Commissioner Tom Bowman has stated that he does not believe the area should remain in the district, former County Commissioner Len Harlig stated last month that emergency access to it remains a problem.

Members of the Blaine Manor skilled nursing facility board will present a funding proposal to the board on Tuesday morning on how the county should—or if it should—continue funding senior care.

Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation board member Jed Gray said in a meeting last week that the Blaine Manor board will propose a permanent levy on county property taxes that could be used to fund the manor or future facilities in perpetuity.

Katherine Wutz:

Speak up

The county will hold two opportunities for public comment on controversial issues on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the old Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey. Beginning at 9:30 a.m., residents can comment on a Blaine Manor funding proposal. A public hearing regarding modifications to the Mountain Overlay District will begin at 1:30 p.m. and is expected to run until 3:30 p.m. Written comment may also be submitted to the county before these hearings.

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