Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Building in Hailey is now easier

I have been a builder and structural engineer in the valley for the last 35 years. Recently, my wife and I sold our home in Ketchum and decided to move to Hailey. When we decided to build a new home I had concerns about the building department and new city ordinances. When I built Bullion Square several years ago, it was a very difficult reconstruction project, made more difficult by one building official.

When we submitted our plans in September, we were on a fast track to get the house enclosed before winter set in. Fortunately, all the staff members I dealt with were pleasant, professional and helpful, walking me through the process of building in Halley. Everyone, from the ladies at the front desk, the new building inspector, the planning staff, the administrator and the water and sewer staff to the sustainability coordinator, were just so helpful and patient. Even though we have been rushed, it has been one of my most enjoyable building experiences.

I was concerned about being in compliance with the city's new Build Better Program. However, it was relatively easy to comply. Fortunately, the staff that developed the Build Better Program allows for a local certificate of compliance. Ketchum and Blaine County require a national certificate of compliance. The paperwork alone requires a qualified certifier to charge three to five times more to certify compliance to the national ordinance. The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article about how school districts and municipalities across the country are opting to go locally, saving 10 to 15 percent of the cost of construction on projects.

Looks like the citizens of Hailey are being well served by their staff. Thanks again to the staff for making my project a pleasant experience.

Tom Held


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