For the week of November 11 thru November 17, 1998  

Hailey enacts 90-day hillside moratorium

Express Staff Writer

Hailey City Council has temporarily halted development on hillsides within city limits.

A motion Monday night unanimously passed by the city council enacts a 90-day moratorium on subdivision, building and grading on hillsides with a slope equal to or greater than 15 percent.

At its regular monthly meeting, the council decided 90 days should be enough time for staff to develop clear language for an ordinance that will guide hillside development and set standards designers can follow.

Hailey Planning and Zoning Commissioner Keith O’Connell was present at the meeting to represent the views of the P&Z.

"What we’re trying to accomplish is to protect the hillsides and not endanger our views," said O’Connell.

"A 10 percent restriction might be too severe," said O’Connell, referring to the wording of the original notice of the impending moratorium.

"A 10 percent slope is a 10 percent gain in elevation over 100 feet of distance. It is the maximum grade for roads within the county and city," said O’Connell.

Hailey city attorney Susan Baker quickly pointed out that the the actual wording of the moratorium states that the restriction on hillside development will only affect those properties that have hillsides equal to or greater than 15 percent.

With that clarification in mind, O’Connell was satisfied with the wording of the restriction.

City council members agreed with the 15 percent slope restriction on development and chose only to adjust the time frame of the moratorium from 180 days down to 90 days.

"We should use a shorter term for the city to debate the issue, so developers have time to plan," said Councilwoman Susan McBryant.

"This is a breathing space, giving us the opportunity to examine areas that will be affected and to guide development," said Hailey Mayor Brad Siemer.

The city council may use the hillside development ordinance Ketchum uses as an example for the Hailey ordinance.

Public comment regarding the adoption of the interim moratorium on hillside development was positive.

"I agree with 15 percent," said developer Chuck Grubb, of Sprenger, Grubb & Associates. "We can live with it."


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