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For the week of June 12 - 18, 2002


Hailey faces lawsuit over Roundup denial

Express Staff Writer

The city of Hailey is headed to court again to defend its latest decision rejecting for the second time the plans of Roundup Corral for development of a light industrial park in the Woodside area adjoining the cityís sewer treatment plant.

Boise attorney Gary Allen, who represents Roundupís owner, Judy Hartley Castle, who goes by the name Castle, announced his intention to resume litigation against the city following Thursdayís special city council session.

Allenís plea that a light industrial development would be an economic benefit to the city apparently didnít sway the council.

The vote to deny the Roundup application for a planned unit development was 4-0, with Councilman Richard Davis recusing himself because of a potential conflict. Davis is employed by a property title company.

A Woodside resident, Chris Matey, told the council that when he bought his home 19 years ago, the builder assured him that the nearby open space would never be rezoned for light industry.

Castle also rose to speak in behalf of her project. To fears that children in nearby neighborhoods would be jeopardized by the presence of a light industrial park and truck traffic, she argued that children donít play in industrial areas. She also said parents should be responsible for the whereabouts of their children.

The city originally gave tentative approval to the project in 1999, but after a storm of complaints from residential homeowners near the proposed development about the land being dedicated to open space, Hailey reversed itself.

In Thursdayís action, the council voted to deny the proposal after City Planning Director Kathy Grotto made a lengthy statement in which she point-by-point ticked off aspects of the plan that were not in conformity with code or had met with safety objections from the city fire department.

Among the nonconforming details Grotto cited is the planned roadway serving the proposed industrial area ó 24 feet wide, although the code requires 44 feet curb-to-curb.

But the main legal issue that divides the city and Roundupís owner is whether the 87 acres was dedicated as open space and therefore incompatible as an industrial area.

Two years ago on Nov. 30, 2000, U.S. Magistrate Mikel Williams ruled in the cityís favor, declaring "there has been a common law dedication of the property as open space" on early city plats.

It was that decision that Roundupís owner had planned to appeal, but then postponed to try once again for rezoning of the property.

The case now will be heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, probably in August.


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.