Blaine Manor Construction

The Blaine Manor Senior and Family Community accounted for nearly half of residential units approved in Hailey in 2020.

The city of Hailey approved 133 new residential units in 2020—up a whopping 177% from the 48 units it approved in 2019, according to a year-in-review staff report released last month.

By comparison, an average of 38 residential units were approved each year between 2016 and 2019.

The units approved in 2020 included single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums and apartment units. Of the 92 multi-family units approved last year, 60 came from the Blaine Manor Senior and Family Community project and 16 from Silver River Residences, both of which are still in development. The 41 single-family homes approved last year were mainly proposed for Hailey’s Old Cutters, Northridge and Woodside subdivisions.

Blaine Manor accounted for nearly half the city’s residential units approved in 2020 and came out on top in terms of construction cost with a value of roughly $9 million, according to the report.

The city’s total estimated value of new construction in 2020—measured by building permit fees paid—also more than doubled from 2018. Construction valuation rose from about $15.7 million in 2018 to $36 million in 2020, the city reported. (In 2012, Hailey recorded its lowest estimated construction valuation of $4.7 million.)

Hailey also issued more building permits last year than it had since 2008. In 2020, the city issued 258 permits, up 21% from the 213 permits issued the year before.

Hailey Growth Graph

Hailey issued more building permits last year than it ever had since the Great Recession.

Building permit receipts from fiscal 2020 added up to $309,921, exceeding the fiscal 2020 budgeted amount of $250,000. Last fall, the city budgeted for an expected $225,000 in revenue from building permit fees in fiscal 2021. Under its current permit fee structure, approved by the City Council on Nov. 23, applicants proposing projects that cost between $500,000 and $1 million to build are required to pay the city about $4,270 for the first $500,000 in valuation and $5.70 for each additional $1,000. Those proposing projects with a construction value of over $1 million pay $7,403 for the first $1 million and $4.20 for each additional $1,000 in valuation.

Those fees are roughly 32% higher than what applicants paid before a fee change last November, which added $1,000 for projects costing between $500,000 and $1 million to build and over $1,800 more for projects costing over $1 million to build.

Though construction activity rose in 2020, the city’s tally of active businesses fell between 2019 and 2020, Community Development Director Lisa Horowitz reported last Monday. The 483 active businesses reported at the end of 2019 fell to 463 at the end of 2020, she said.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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