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Wednesday, March 10, 2004


Cutters annex plan sent to Hailey P&Z for review

Express Staff Writer

After the fourth hearing on an annexation application by developers of the Cutters Ranch property north of Hailey, the City Council Monday sent the matter to the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission for review.

The initial focus for planning and zoning will be to consider proposed zoning for the 142-acre property should it be annexed.

Choosing to send the application to planning and zoning was not an indication of "tacit approval" by the council, Mayor Susan McBryant said. "Real scrutiny goes through the planning and zoning process."

In the latest rendition of their plan, business partners Steve Brown and John Campbell propose to dedicate water rights of one minerís inch of water per acre of non-hillside open space to the city for irrigation of a proposed city park and pond. The developers also plan to dedicate nearly two and three-quarters of an acre of land for a city park. The proposed park space exceeds the amount required under the Hailey subdivision ordinance, which stipulates 10 acres of dedicated land per 1000 residents. Brown and Campbell are proposing to build 98 units on the property.

The commission will also determine if the plan is consistent with the Hailey comprehensive plan, which stipulates that developments pay for themselves in terms of infrastructure costs.

The decision to send the matter to planning and zoning is just one step in a process Brown said he and his business partner John Campbell hope will take one year to complete.

"We went into the meeting not knowing what to expect. Itís not a very clear process. Everybody is feeling their way through it. We hoped it would take a year. Weíre about six months into it, but I think thereís a lot of the process left," Brown said. "Planning and zoning can shed light on the zoning requirements."

The Planning and Zoning commission will be charged with looking at whether proposed lot sizes are appropriate under Hailey subdivision ordinances. The developers hope to provide a mix of housing, which could include an affordable housing component.

The council reviewed the developersí proposal to transfer water rights to the city, the impact of the Sept. 7 average cutoff date of the water rights and Idaho Fish and Game comments on the proposed pond and benefits for wildlife. McBryant said Monday the council would only hear public comment on the latest information pertaining to the application. However, several members of the public wanted to direct comment to the overall impact of the development on the community.

Other issues to be explored by planning and zoning include street widths and connectivity to surrounding roads.

If the Planning and Zoning Commission decides to recommend annexation, the decision will be based on whether the plan conforms to comprehensive plan, said Hailey Planning Director Kathy Grotto. Planning and zoning would also recommend the appropriate zoning, Grotto said.

"Then City Council would make their final decision. (If approved) annexation and development agreements would be drafted," she said.

Any agreement would include appropriate annexation fees, Grotto said.


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