Hailey city officials hope that recent revisions to its area of city impact will provide a buffer between Hailey and Bellevue—though an overlap between the two cities’ areas of city impact remains unresolved.

The Hailey City Council approved a resolution on Monday night that included additional land in the area of city impact and amended Hailey’s comprehensive plan land-use map to reflect those changes.

The revised area of city impact—the transitional area in which Hailey is expected to grow—was presented in map form Monday by Community Development Director Lisa Horowitz. The updated map reflected boundary modifications suggested by Councilman Sam Linnet at the last council meeting on Jan. 27.

Linnet’s objective was to extend the city’s area of impact south of the airport along state Highway 75 to maintain open space between Hailey and Bellevue, a shift he believed would help mitigate conflict between the two jurisdictions.

“It was decided that about three baseball fields in width was a reasonable, appropriate buffer,” Horowitz said.

Over the phone, Linnet told city staff that he was pleased with the boundary revisions.

“The changes that you made were exactly what I was hoping for,” he said. “I appreciate your hard work.”

The boundaries were also revised since the previous council meeting to accurately represent business areas, wildlife corridors, additional conservation easements and acres of undeveloped land south of Friedman Memorial Airport.

Over 300 acres in Hailey remain undeveloped, 240 of which are in residential districts.

Discussions among Hailey, Bellevue and Blaine County about areas of city impact began in the fall after Hailey and Bellevue leaders clashed over overlapping boundaries on the east side of state Highway 75. On Jan. 13, the council voted to discourage high-density residential development around Friedman Memorial Airport’s “safety zone,” as recommended by airport Manager Chris Pomeroy.

Over two dozen acres of Hailey’s proposed area of city impact still overlap with Bellevue’s, Horowitz said, and it remains to be seen how Bellevue and Blaine County will receive Hailey’s resolutions.

Each council member, however, expressed confidence in the finalized area of city impact on Monday.

“I couldn’t be more comfortable with where we’re going on this,” Councilman Juan Martinez said.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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