plan moves ahead
Express Staff Writer
open space, a group of citizens wants farmers and ranchers in picturesque
agricultural areas to sell their rights to build houses and barns to
developers in areas where construction would be less of an eyesore.
The idea is
called transferable development rights, a concept that has floated in one
draft form or another around county offices and citizen groups for four
years. But on Monday, a draft TDR ordinance moved into the chambers of the
Blaine County Commissioners, who could vote it into law after a series of
public hearings that could begin in March.
plan, landowners in so-called sending areas would be able to separate, and
sell, their right to build from all other property rights. Other
landowners in receiving areas could buy the rights, which would allow them
to increase the amount of development allowed on their property.
areas would include private land in southern Blaine County from Bellevue
to Highway 20. Receiving areas would include the hamlet of Gannett; a
narrow strip along Baseline Road; the Glendale area southwest of Bellevue;
and an area south of Bellevue between Highway 20 and Gannett Road.
planners generally agree that arrangement is not ideal. Farmers and
ranchers see TDRs as allowing them to cluster development on their
individual parcels. But a more appropriate place to send development would
be to cities like Bellevue, Hailey and Ketchum, where public services
already exist to support it, county planners say.
is recommending a phased approach to TDRs because selling the idea to
cities, where residents balk at increased development, is difficult. If
the county commission gives the plan final approval, then the county would
next approach city governments to persuade them to designate more areas to
Chairwoman Mary Ann Mix and Commissioner Dennis Wright both raised
questions about the lack of receiving areas north of Bellevue during the
suggested that the TDR plan should put a priority on preserving open space
that is especially valuable or environmentally sensitive, such as land
near Silver Creek.