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Friday — May 28, 2004

Arts and Entertainment

Hailey plans for land acquisition

Moratorium placed on developers

Express Staff Writer

The Hailey City Council this week decided not to accept any future commercial development plans in an effort to protect the city’s right to acquire private land for public needs.

The council placed a moratorium on processing applications for design review and subdivision applications on properties exceeding one acre in Hailey’s business and limited business districts.

The purpose of the moratorium is to give the city time to develop an ordinance governing any future land acquisition for city infrastructure like streets, public buildings and parks.

Of particular interest are problems concerning pedestrian and traffic circulation.

During the moratorium, not to last more than 182 days, the city will create a land acquisition map, which will show locations where the city may want to take property for the public good.

The Local Land Use Planning Act allows cities to develop a map of future land acquisitions that may be made to accommodate streets, public buildings, parks or other public functions, said Hailey Planning Director Kathy Grotto. Such a plan can be put in effect for up to 20 years.

The goal of the moratorium is to curb rapid commercial growth in the city long enough to address related safety issues, especially along Highway 75.

"This is a major step in long range planning," said City Councilman Don Keirn.

A new ordinance governing acquisitions will allow city planners to direct long-range goals for public improvements.

Mayor Susan McBryant said the ordinance would empower the city in negotiations with builders. The ordinance could also involve specific enhancements for the city’s historic downtown area, she said.

The ordinance would only affect property within city limits. City projects are not subject to the moratorium.


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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.