18-12-05 new golf course@

A 9-hole golf course is planned for a 13-acre site north of Hailey, on the east side of state Highway 75.

The Hailey Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Monday to recommend approval of a 13-acre annexation of land adjacent to state Highway 75 north of town that would bring 10 home sites and a nine-hole golf course into the city.

A water-pressurization capital project in the surrounding Northridge neighborhood costing at least $500,000 could be required, an option that will likely be considered when the City Council conducts a final review of the annexation request, perhaps next month.

The proposed 2-IT Ranch development was proposed by Ketchum resident Sarah Hjort. It would bring two single-family homesites, 10 cottage-style lots and a par-3, nine-hole golf course and a 3,500-square foot clubhouse to a vacant field west of Northridge subdivision.

A new private road through the proposed development would connect Highway 75 with Second Avenue.

The P&Z stipulated that any gatherings at the clubhouse with more than 50 people would require a special-event permit from the city.

The P&Z approved Recreational Greenbelt zoning for the 12-acre golf course portion of the project, accepting it as an “active recreation facility” amenity. The commission also approved a subdivision preliminary plat application for the project.

The housing portion of the development would be in the Limited Residential-2 zone, yet allow for much smaller homesites than usual in the designated zone under a planned-unit-development application that was also approved Monday.

Potential neighbors to the project in Northridge expressed concern over increased housing density and traffic, and water-pressure impacts from the development. Many of those concerns were addressed and resolved during a public hearing Monday.

Trees would provide homes with safety from golf balls, a curved road would reduce “cut-through traffic” from Highway 75, and creative solutions were promised to keep horses from the public on a perimeter trail planned for the development.

“I think this has been very well thought out,” P&Z Chairwoman Janet Fugate said.

New P&Z Commissioner Sam Linnett found satisfaction that any traffic issues on Highway 75 associated with the development could be remedied in the future, should they arise, and that the golf course would remain open space (barring a city-approved rezone), should the golf course business fail.

“This could also potentially fix the water [pressure issue],” Linnett said.

At issue is an existing peak water-demand pressure drop in the surrounding Northridge neighborhood that reduces pressures slightly below Department of Water Quality requirements of 40 pounds per square inch, based on a water model used by city staff.

“There is some deficiency now,” Public Works Director Brian Yeager acknowledged.

The P&Z approved recommendation of the development only if it does not further limit water pressure for the neighbors.

Yeager said a definitive measure of water pressure in the area could be determined next summer, pending City Council approval for a study. He said a capital project, if it is approved, to increase water pressure in Northridge would likely cost $500,000 to $700,000 and be paid for out of the city’s Water Enterprise Fund.

Yeager said the work could be completed as early as next summer and might be deemed necessary in any case.

“It’s possible that the water pressure project could take place regardless of whether the golf course development moves forward,” he said.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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