Hailey’s annexation of Quigley Farm crossed its long-awaited finish line Monday afternoon, setting up a summer groundbreaking for the 231-acre development on what’s now the east side of town.

That’s when the Blaine County Recreation District formally received a 107-acre parcel behind the Community Campus from developers—one of two lots designated for open space and public use by the original annexation agreement. The other, earmarked for athletic fields north of Wood River High School, was accepted by the school board in May.

With signatures from BCRD board President Mike Burchmore and Quigley Developer Dave Hennessy in hand, Hailey is free to claim the first chunk of the $580,338 annexation fee owed by the developer, worth $232,821.

Meanwhile, Hennessy and his partners, Harry Weekes and Duncan Morton, can get started on the first phase of the project, which consists of 51 residential units spread across 36 lots at the mouth of the canyon, plus business areas and nonprofit spaces, as previously reported in the Idaho Mountain Express.

The deal, approved in May 2017, includes a 1,161-acre conservation easement through the canyon, connecting the edge of the city to public land in the east. The BCRD is already putting that to work, according to Executive Director Jim Keating. Using that easement, crews have already cut two miles of trail around the perimeter of the canyon, slated to open next spring. And, Keating expects to relocate the BCRD’s south valley Nordic trails to a new network in Quigley this winter.

Its newest asset, the 107 acres conveyed Monday, will be a key point of connection—once the developer builds the roads the BCRD needs to get to work.

In late June, Hennessy told the Hailey City Council that he expects to start as early as this month.

“I hope that comes as soon as possible,” Keating said. “We’re looking to do the basics to get that parcel ready. We want to get started, so we have something in place this winter—that’s where we’re focusing our energy.”

At least, Keating would like to see a parking lot, and move the community yurt out Croy Canyon to the new Nordic center. Eventually, it could become a park, and a trailhead stretching out to the BLM’s prospective network beyond.

That part’s still a ways out: The BLM is still working on its travel management plan for the Wood River Valley. It hopes to finalize the design in 2019.

The full build-out of Quigley Farm is years out, too. Plans are for eventual construction of 176 housing units, a school, offices and a convenience store.

Though the Blaine County School District took its 11-acre swath in the spring, it has no plans to develop the land in the near future. Preliminary estimates from BCSD Director of Buildings and Grounds Howard Royal put the price of construction at between $1.5 million and $2.7 million, with maintenance running $30,000 per year—money the board of trustees says it doesn’t have.

“Some big pieces are starting to come together,” Keating said. “It’s not going to happen overnight, but this is where it starts.”

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