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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 7 - 13, 2003


Hailey’s own Cyclops?

Hailey may soon have its own Cyclops with a blinking red eye atop Della Mountain—unless the Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission stops it.

The commission is set to consider a proposal by Idaho Tower Co. for a 70-foot tall lighted communications tower on Della’s west slope—a city landmark.

Astoundingly, the commission will hear the application even though it defies a county ban on lighted towers.

The tower would sit on state land. Sixty feet of it would extend above the mountaintop and would be visible from most of Hailey, except at the foot of the mountain.

If turning Della Mountain into a virtual Cyclops were not enough, Idaho Tower also wants to throw in a two-story building and a 40-yard long road extension.

An existing tower on Della sits 14 yards lower than the proposed tower, and it has no light.

Not long ago, the Planning and Zoning Commission spent a lot of time crafting the ordinance that governs communications towers.

Blaine County also spent a lot of time and money winning a lawsuit in which the Idaho Supreme Court ruled that development on state lands must comply with county zoning regulations.

Why the county is even hearing this application is a mystery.

County planners are evasive and say only that two alternatives that accompany the proposal—one that would put the tower on the valley floor—comply with the county ordinance.

It’s hard to imagine the commission has time to waste hearing a proposal illegal at the get-go. It’s harder to imagine why it wasn’t rejected at the planning office door.

Nonetheless, on Thursday May 8, at 6:30 p.m. in the Old County Courthouse in Hailey, the Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal.

The whole matter fails the sniff test. The public shouldn’t be subjected to this mystery. Mystery should be the stuff of novels, not land planning.


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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.