For the week of February 24, 1999  thru March 2, 1999  

Hailey delays decision on Airport West annexation

Express Staff Writer

The Hailey City Council tabled action Monday night on an annexation request submitted by Airport West Partners for 75 acres west of Friedman Memorial Airport.

The property, currently dubbed the Hailey Airport Business Park by Airport West Partners, lies south of the Friedman Industrial Park between Airport Way and Broadford Road.

"We recognize this as a process," acknowledged Ed Lawson, attorney for Airport West Partners.

Indeed, it has been a process for Airport West Partners, which first presented its application for annexation to the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission in September.

The property is proposed for light industrial and technological industrial zoning. Airport West Partners has asked for additional uses, including hotel, restaurant, automobile leases and repair, owner occupied or leased residential, car washes and day care in the project area.

In addition, a judicial facility, including a jail and sheriff’s office, is being considered by Blaine County for a parcel within the proposed park.

The P&Z recommended annexation last month, but concerns about traffic, impacts on neighboring residential areas and zoning still linger.

Monday night’s deliberation focused on whether or not a secondary access road, possibly onto Broadford Road, is appropriate for the project.

Under the current proposal, Airport Way provides the only access for traffic moving through the business park.

A traffic study, briefly summarized Monday night by Dick Fosbury of Galena Engineering, indicates that traffic will increase to 1,400 cars during peak hours at the Airport Way and Highway 75 intersection.

Council members expressed doubt about the ability of Airport Way to accommodate that flow.

"I see it as a necessity to have a secondary access," Councilman Scott Basolo said. "We need it. I’m not sure how exactly to accommodate it."

Residents living along Broadford Road have voiced opposition to an access road that would penetrate their neighborhood, which prompted planners for Airport West Partners to remove the Broadford Road access from their initial drawings.

Steve Kearns, former mayor of Hailey, said he supports the access.

"It’s a glaring omission that there isn’t an access on Broadford Road," he said. "I know it’s going to be contentious. No one wants any more traffic in their neighborhood."

Kearns also said of the overall application that it is "an important and necessary annexation."

Friedman Memorial Airport Authority chairman Tom Blanchard echoed the former mayor’s endorsement of annexation.

"The Airport Board is interested in seeing this move forward," Blanchard said. "I think the timing is quite excellent in terms of serving our needs."

The council’s deliberation touched briefly on zoning questions related to proposed restaurant, hotel and convenience store uses. Those are not permitted uses, but are typically included in airport business parks.

"I don’t hate it," Councilwoman Susan McBryant assured representatives from Airport West as they parted.

The council will continue deliberating the application at its next meeting on March 22.


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