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Larry Green of L.L. Green’s Hardware and Northridge developer Mark Caplow are planning to relocate Green’s store to the intersection of Main Street and McKercher and build up to 18 residential units on an adjacent lot along First Avenue. Both lots were rezoned on Monday accommodate their proposed uses.

The Hailey City Council unanimously approved the rezoning of a First Avenue lot from “Limited Residential” to “General Residential” on Monday, June 28, paving the way for higher-density housing and a gradual transition from Main Street east to the Northridge subdivision.

The City Council also voted to rezone an empty lot at the corner of Main Street and McKercher Boulevard from Limited Residential to Limited Business, allowing business owner Larry Green to construct a new L.L. Green’s hardware store on the site.

Both rezones are part of a joint proposal from Green and Northridge developer Mark Caplow, who are together developing adjacent lots in north Hailey. Taken together, the parcels comprise about four acres and form a horseshoe shape around the AmericInn hotel.

L.L. Green’s, currently operating at 101 N. Main St., plans to relocate to the now vacant corner of Main and McKercher and leave a third business-zoned lot to the east empty. Green and Caplow requested the business zoning change because Hailey’s Limited Business district only permits convenience stores, gas stations, restaurants and home offices.

The applicants also plan to build up to 18 townhome units along First Avenue from McKercher to Cobblestone Lane. It’s still not clear how many units will go in, Community Development Director Lisa Horowitz said. Caplow said they would be capped at a maximum of 30 feet tall.

“I’d like this to be a relatively affordable development with height [restrictions], to serve as a friendly buffer” between Main Street and the Northridge subdivision, Caplow said.

Councilman Sam Linnet set a condition of approval requiring the residential lot to have a minimum density of no fewer than 6.8 units per acre as a means to boost much-needed housing supply in the city.

“Our community is in the position now where if there’s any kind of residential development occurring, we need to [ensure] that it’s higher-density housing,” Linnet said. “Otherwise, we’re going to keep seeing the same housing issue.”

As for the third empty property adjacent to the planned L.L. Green’s store, project representative Samantha Stahlnecker of Galena Engineering said it should attract a business with similar interests to L.L. Green’s.

Once built out, both properties would help bring business up Main Street to McKercher, she said.

“I appreciate that change is hard anytime a zoning application comes forward, but [rezoning] is a very useful tool,” Linnet said.

In February, Green partnered with Matt Cook of Silver Creek Ford on a more extensive infill proposal that also contemplated relocation of Cook’s car dealership to the intersection of Main and McKercher. Residents were largely opposed to the dealership’s relocation, however, and Silver Creek Ford has since decided to remain in place.

The initial early-2021 proposal envisioned around 48 condominium units along First Avenue, which proved highly unpopular among Northridge residents and P&Z members.

Stahlnecker said the applicant team will be preparing a traffic study to analyze the effect of 12 residential units on the existing traffic system and will complete a water-pressure study to show that the units would not impact water pressure in Northridge subdivision.

Winterhaven plan passed

Also at the meeting, the City Council approved a preliminary plat application for a seven-lot residential development at Winterhaven Drive in Woodside subdivision. The seven homes will be priced between $350,000 and $700,000, according to developer Quartz Properties, and will allow for above-garage accessory-dwelling units, bringing the unit total to 14.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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