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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of May 15 - 21, 2002


Quigley Canyon plans reach new phase

Rec District schedules 
public meeting May 22

"Do we want to add these little wonderful things in exchange for increasing density? My thoughts are, ‘no.’" 

— Hailey resident Bill Hughes

Express Staff Writer

After five years of planning, the Blaine County Recreation District board of trustees says it is ready to begin the next phase of a project that would result in a new $6 million golf course and potentially hundreds of new homes east of Hailey in Quigley Canyon. Landowners Stoney Burke and Fred Judd are expected to ask the city of Hailey to annex about 925 acres for the project in June.

The Rec District has scheduled an all-day public meeting May 22 at the Wood River Inn to present its plans and to answer questions. After that, if Hailey approves annexation, the developers would create a master plan for the area, and the Rec District would apply for private funding to build the golf course, Rec District director Mary Austin Crofts said in a press conference Thursday.

Plans call for Quigley Road to be closed and for Fox Acres Road to be extended up the south side of the canyon so that new traffic would be directed away from existing neighborhoods in east Hailey, Crofts said. Hiking trails now accessed from Quigley Road might be closed and new trails opened nearby.

Seven blocks of land for residential development in the 1,500-acre, six-mile-long Quigley Canyon Ranch are currently called for in the plans. Each block would be individually developed, with individual review by the city of Hailey. The last block might not be developed for decades.

The size and number of homes and lots has not yet been determined.

Annexation is an important part of the plan. Without it, the development faces a major barrier, since access to the city’s sewer system would not be available.

The Rec District sees the project as a chance to boost public recreation. But the project might face opposition from Hailey residents concerned that new neighborhoods in Quigley could stress the city’s ability to provide public services, and could turn a section of the city into a resort where working-class people could not afford to live.

The golf course would be publicly owned, operated by the Rec District and "affordable," Crofts said. However, playing fees have not yet been determined.

Additionally, the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is working on a plan to develop cross-country ski trails in the area as early as next winter. Trails for bikes and pedestrians, snowmobile access, a fishing pond and a sledding hill are also contemplated.

"Do we want to add these little wonderful things in exchange for increasing density?" said Hailey resident Bill Hughes, who sharply criticized the plans Thursday. "My thoughts are, ‘no.’"

Hughes said Hailey does not need the low-paying service industry jobs the project would likely create. Hailey should strive to attract more businesses like Power Engineers and Marketron, he said.

Crofts said the job of the Rec District is to provide recreation to the public, and this project would do that.

Other benefits would include the elimination of cattle and sheep grazing and the restoration of a range of wildlife habitat from creek banks to hillside slopes. The Rec District has consulted with the National Audubon Society to design a golf course that would be beneficial to wildlife.

Crofts said that the Rec District has negotiated the acquisition of land and water for a golf course during at least 50 public meetings since 1997 and that criticism from some that the negotiations have been secret are unfounded.

Much of the plan has changed since the Rec District board entered into a non-binding agreement with the landowners in 1999, the Rec District stated in a document aimed at answering questions from the public.

Now, the Rec District and landowners are working on a binding agreement. Still to be resolved:

  • Should a general obligation or revenue bond be formally rejected as a funding option?

  • Should homeowners get preferred tee times in exchange for a 2 percent sales tax on lots?

  • Who will draft and support a master plan for the development?



The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.