The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission voted Monday not to recommend annexation of a 21-acre property on the east side of Broadford Road, just south of the city limits.
Developer Jeff Pfaeffle shares the property with Grant Stevens, a plastic surgeon who works in California. Together they had plans to build a 90-unit subdivision on the property, in exchange for public access on a trail across another portion of property closer to the river.
Annexation, which allows developers to hook up to city services and generally provides the financial benefit of increased density allowances, can only take place on property that is contiguous with the city. However, four lots owned by three people are between Pfaeffle's property and the city limits. Pfaeffle's application includes the forced annexation of those four lots.
Forced annexation is a policy, rarely used by Hailey officials, that forces land in the county into city limits when the benefits to the city warrant it. It can be used to streamline boundaries when portions of county land become surrounded by city land.
Two of the intervening property owners, Darren Barfus and William Miles, and others spoke out against the proposed development. They said they didn't want to see the five-fold building density increase on Broadford Road that Pfaeffle was requesting.
Barfus, who owns an equestrian property, also said he did not want to hook up to city services, pay higher taxes and perhaps be forced to develop his own property to make ends meet.
"The city would make revenue on this," he said. "But the impact from traffic on Broadford Road will be enormous."
Barfus said his taxes would triple under forced annexation and he would have to build four or five homes on an acre of horse pasture to reclaim the cost of being forced into the city.
"It would break me," he said.
Planning Director Beth Robrahn defended the 4.5 percent growth projections she is using while reviewing annexation requests such as Pfaeffle's. She said the city's population is expected to swell to 18,000 by 2025. Hailey's current population is 8,500.
The final decision will be made by the City Council.
Tony Evans: email@example.com