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For the week of March 7 through 13, 2001

Stanley residents favor subdivision

Express Staff Writer

A majority of Stanley-area residents who spoke at a public hearing last week said they are excited about the prospect of a nearby subdivision finally maintaining a part of the city thatís been in disrepair for three decades.

Boise-based developer Steven Hosac proposes to reorganize and sell lots that are part of two subdivisions laid out in the early 1970s. Hosac said he will sell and set standards for the two subdivisions as one, called Stanley Sawtooth Estates.

Combined, the subdivisions include 46 lots on 66 acres around Valley Creek and on the adjacent hills. Two of the lots sit atop a rock bluff that overlooks the city.

The public hearing last Wednesday was to collect input on proposed lot line shifts throughout the subdivision and to "hear what the citizens of Stanley and residents of the Stanley Basin have to say," Stanley Mayor Hilda Floyd said. About a dozen Stanley residents attended.

The lot line shifts must conform to Stanleyís comprehensive plan and ordinances, though most residents didnít comment directly on that issue. Rather they expressed their views of the subdivisionsí overall merits or potential pitfalls.

"The city of Stanley has recognized this area for growth and development," Stanley resident and past Stanley P&Z member Selma Lamb told the Stanley City Council. "At last this land will be taken care of properly."

Stanley annexed the area in 1973. Lamb pointed out that past city councils have refused to de-annex portions of the hillside subdivision.

De-annexation has come up periodically, because the Sawtooth National Recreation Area has indicated interest in buying or trading for some of the hillside lots or in purchasing a conservation easement on the property, Lamb said. The Forest Service cannot buy land or an easement on land thatís within a municipal boundary.

Hosac said at the meeting that he is still receptive to proposals to preserve the knoll-top lots, but isnít sure if arrangements can be ironed out. SNRA officials were not immediately available for comment.

Nonetheless, development of the hilltop lots wasnít an issue that many Stanley-area residents dwelled on.

Resident Floris Nuestaedter called the subdivisionís proposed management "a big improvement."

"We do need room for growth, and this is one direction we can go," she said.

Playing devilís advocate with his neighbors, Ron Gillett, a 30-year Stanley resident, said heís concerned about how the new homes will look.

"I donít want to have to look at a bunch of castles over there," he said. "I think we have a chance to lose something great."

Hosac appeared receptive and responsive to such criticisms. He said heís willing to tour the subdivision or talk with anyone whoís interested.

"I think we want to keep the rural feel of the subdivision," he said, adding that roads will not be paved but will be widened slightly.

"I want houses that will blend into the hillsides, that will blend into the topography. We donít want them looking out of place."

He said design guidelines he implements as part of a homeownersí association that will be set up will be "one hell of a lot tougher than the cityís," but added: "I believe that when somebody buys a lot, they should have the freedom to do with it what they want."

Homes greater than 10,000 or 15,000 square feet will "probably" not be allowed, he said.

"When this is all finished, I want to be proud of whatís there."

The Stanley City Council will meet on March 15 to make a decision on the proposed lot line shifts.


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