Blaine Manor Construction (Impact fees)

The Hailey City Council will discuss implementing higher development impact fees on Monday. The fees--which go toward street and pedestrian improvements--mirror recent growth projections for the city, which predict an average of 104 new residential units per year between now and 2031.

The Hailey City Council will hold its final budget hearing at its 5:30 p.m. meeting tonight, Monday, Aug. 30, setting a not-to-exceed budget of $16.2 million for fiscal 2022.

The City Council previously raised the fiscal 2021 budget by over $1 million this month, in part to make room for the city’s imminent $950,000 acquisition of 116 S. River St.

The site, dubbed the “Heart of Hailey,” has long been a candidate for a town square due to its location shielded from Main Street. It is expected to officially become city property on Tuesday, when Mayor Burke is expected to sign closing documents. Hailey’s old Post Office building—recently occupied by Copy & Print—also sits on the parcel and will become city property.

After the budget hearing, the Council will vote for a third and final time whether to approve a bond election that would ask voters on Nov. 2 whether taxpayers should reimburse the city for the River Street purchase. If that bond measure passes, residents would see an annual property tax increase of $21 per $100,000 of property value over five years.

City councilmembers Kaz Thea, Sam Linnet and Juan Martinez—citing historically low interest rates—voted to acquire the parcel earlier this month to create a common pedestrian plaza or event venue and expand Hailey’s Town Center campus. Workshops and community surveys on potential uses for the property will be conducted over the next few months, according to the city.

Development impact fees return to the table

Also on Monday, councilmembers will consider implementing steeper 5-year development impact fees as recommended by the Planning & Zoning Commission.

The proposed fee schedule raises impact fees for developers constructing retail space, office space and other commercial and institutional buildings by between 36% and 88%. It also increases residential development impact fees by 145% for buildings between 600 and 1,000 square feet; up to 99% for structures between 1,001 and 2,600 square feet; approximately 104% for buildings between 2,601 and 3,000 square feet; and 146% for buildings over 3,001 square feet.

The proposed fee increase is based on growth projections for the city. Hailey’s housing stock is expected to grow by about 28% in the next decade, from 3,696 units in 2021 to 4,731 units in 2031, according to a report from a city consultant. Over one-third of Hailey’s planned street and bike-pedestrian projects over the next two decades will be funded by development impact fees.

To attend tonight’s 5:30 p.m. meeting virtually, call 872-240-3311 and enter access code 543-667-133.

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