The Hailey City Council agreed on Monday to expand the city’s proposed area-of-city impact boundary farther to the south, beyond a Planning and Zoning Commission recommendation, as it moves toward a possible reconciliation with the city of Bellevue over how much land could be developed between the two cities under a proposed annexation into Bellevue.

     “I don’t want Bellevue to lose its opportunity [for annexation],” Hailey Mayor Martha Burke said. “If Bellevue thrives, we thrive.”

     Burke’s comment indicated a change in temperament following an annexation request by the Eccles family for a large portion of its Flying Hat Ranch into Bellevue. The annexation proposal had leaders of both cities crying foul over negotiations between the two cities that will soon be settled by Blaine County.

      A majority of Hailey City Council members and a majority of the Blaine County commissioners must sign off on the Hailey ACI agreement. The same goes for Bellevue.

     Blaine County Land Use Department Deputy Administrator Kathy Grotto, who was present at the Monday council meeting, said representatives from both cities could soon be at the same table to hash things out.

     “But that’s yet to be planned,” Grotto said.

     Hailey’s ACI map changes, as well as a revised land use map and associated changes to the city’s comprehensive plan, were reviewed Monday. City Councilman Sam Linnet suggested extending the southern boundary of the ACI boundary on the west side of state Highway 75 well beyond a P&Z-recommended limit at a traffic light at Woodside Boulevard.

     Linnet said the extension would benefit Hailey due to its partnership in the operation of Freidman Memorial Airport.

     For full story see the Wednesday edition of the Mountain Express.

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