Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hailey P&Z approves transit hub in Woodside

Mountain Rides plans bus barn, maintenance facility


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Mountain Rides Transportation Authority has found a south valley transit hub location in Hailey. Previous plans to establish the hub in south Bellevue were thwarted by the Bellevue Planning and Zoning Commission.

Mountain Rides was granted a conditional-use permit by the Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday to operate a bus barn, maintenance center and eventually a transit hub and park-and-ride at a building in the Woodside light-industrial subdivision.

However, Interim Executive Director Wendy Crosby emphasized in an interview that the approval is only “the first step in a very long process” of meeting federal as well as local requirements. About three years ago, the public transportation service obtained federal grants of about $800,000 to build the new facility. The grants require a 20 percent local match.

The site at the corner of Woodside Boulevard and Glenbrook Drive has room for up to 45 parking spaces and a building with 9,500 square feet of indoor floor space, enough to park up to six buses inside.

“This will be a 25- to 30-year facility for us,” Crosby said during the P&Z meeting. 

Crosby said the building will be leased until the nonprofit organization can afford to buy it.

Real estate agent George Kirk, who represents Mountain Rides in the lease, said the company could use an upstairs 6,500-square-foot living area as offices or rent the space to another business.

“It’s about as perfect a site as Mountain Rides could find,” Kirk said.

In the interview, Crosby said Mountain Rides had put a lot of work into conducting an environmental review and meeting other federal requirements for the proposed site in Bellevue before finding out that it could not use the site.

“That set us way back,” she said. “We had to start from scratch again.”

In other Hailey news:

( The P&Z tabled until April 22 discussion of an ordinance that would allow electronic signs to be used only at public schools and city government buildings. The commission will question the city attorney to see if it is legal to prohibit businesses from also having electronic signs.

( The P&Z granted approval of annexation of a narrow strip of land .62 acres in size on the eastern side of Wood River Middle School into city limits for expansion of classrooms and a hallway. It also approved design review of the expanded section of the campus.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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