Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hailey vacates land to private owners

Council overturns P&Z recommendation

Express Staff Writer

The Hailey City Council voted unanimously Monday to vacate portions of the city’s right of way on a dead-end, block-long section of West Chestnut Street, thereby giving .12 acres of city property to Charlie and Lynn Holt, and the Goitiandia family’s Clear Creek Land Co.
    The decision to narrow the right of way on Chestnut Street from 100 feet to 60 feet reversed a recommendation by the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission last month to not give away city property, in case there is a need for it in the future.
    The council agreed with engineer Bryan Yeager, who said on behalf of the Holts and Clear Creek that “the street doesn’t need 100 foot rights of way. There is no public benefit these 20-foot strips could convey to the city.”
    However, the vacated 20-foot strip of land will prove beneficial to the Holts, who will now be able to build a garage at their personal residence, which is under renovation on the northeast corner of River Street and Chestnut Street.
    “This is a personal thing,” said Lynn Holt, while requesting that the land be vacated. “We found we had less property than we thought when we bought the property a year and a half ago.”

We found we had less property than we thought when we bought the property a year and a half ago.”
Lynn Holt

    The Holts said they had assumed, based on the location of a wooden fence on their property, that they had more room between their land and the street than they did.
    They then researched city records and found that the nearby city right of way on Chestnut Street between Main Street and River Street had already been narrowed from 100 feet to 60 feet, in keeping with the city’s new standards for residential zones.
    Only so-called “collector streets” such as Third Avenue, with substantially more traffic, are required to retain the original 100-foot right-of-way widths that were originally established in Hailey.
    The City Council agreed to vacate the property to the landowners because keeping it would be of no public benefit, and because a sidewalk could still be built along the road with the remaining 60-foot right of way, if the city ever chooses to do so.
    The land vacation was granted on the condition that the city be granted utility easements to service lines on what will now be private property, and that snow storage on the street not be hindered.
    Hailey resident Peter Lobb protested the decision, saying the city should not set a precedent by giving away property.
    “There are plenty of people in town who would want an additional 20 feet of property,” said Lobb. “There could be a time when the city could use that property.”
    In other Hailey news:
    - The City Council voted to approve Fay Matthies’ request to designate as “Serenity Place” a formerly unnamed private street with undeveloped lots that extends eastward onto the bench in Woodside subdivision.
    - The City Council’s consent agenda for Oct. 7 included a payment of $46,353 for the installation of irrigation lines and landscaping at the circular planting area at the center of a roundabout at the corner of Fox Acres Road and Woodside Boulevard.
    - The Hailey Welcome Center building at Hailey’s Wertheimer Park was awarded a LEED Silver Certification for energy efficiency, based on standards held by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.    
Tony Evans:

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