The Hailey City Council voted unanimously in July to approve a city-initiated annexation of 230 acres for the proposed Quigley Farm development, in Quigley Canyon. On Monday, the Planning and Zoning Commission set about working on the details of the proposed development.
Developers David Hennessy, Harry Weekes and Duncan Morton plan to build 176 housing units, a school, offices, a retreat center and convenience store on the property, adjacent to Wood River High School and the Deerfield subdivision on the east side of the city.
A public hearing before the P&Z on Monday to consider a preliminary plat for the development led to possible negotiations with the developers over city road standards, sewer lines and other details.
The city’s consulting engineer, Brian Yeager, pointed out that the developers’ request to build 50-foot-wide roads with minimal drainage through a significant portion of the development would cause issues with snow removal, due to a too-small planting strip proposed for snow storage. City standards call for a minimum of 60-foot roadways on public streets.
A homeowners association at Quigley Farm would be required to pay for removal of snow from sidewalks. The Hailey Tree Committee approved a staggered clustering of required trees along the roads that would ameliorate the snow removal difficulty, but Hailey Streets Division Manager Kelly Schwartz said snow removal would still be “problematic” on 50-foot roads.
Yeager said the city could “punt” the issue by allowing the roads to be private and let the developers deal with the situation, but Hennessy said he would rather work with the city on a compromise, which could include construction of borrow pits for drainage, increased widths or some other solution.
City staff called for clarity on road dedications for utility accesses, emergency access points, trail access, signs and other issues, all of which were addressed to the satisfaction of the commission.
Yeager said a hydraulic water model would be used in conjunction with a citywide water model to make sure water line widths would provide adequate service pressure throughout the development.
City staff called for finer geographic detail on a small hillside parcel that would be dedicated to the city for a well site, under the annexation agreement. Community Development Director Lisa Horowitz said the detail was necessary to make sure enough flat land is available in the parcel to build a well without violating the city’s Hillside Overlay District regulations, which limit development on hillsides.
Hennessy said an application for state approval of an innovative wetlands wastewater treatment plan for Quigley Farm is being considered by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. He said approval could be complete by early next year.
“We are well down the road in the design process,” he said.
The annexation agreement states that the proposed wetlands system would depend on state approval and if it does not function as planned, the developers “will be responsible for the expense of upgrading the city’s collection and treatment system to improve capacity in an amount that is proportional to Quigley development[’s] direct impacts on collection and treatment system capacity, less a credit for the principal amount of wastewater connection fees previously paid by Quigley or subsequent owners of the lots within the annexed property.”
Hennessy said there was only a “very, very small” chance that the system would not be granted approval, or fail to work properly.
“If that happens, it would cost us a lot more money,” he said.
Horowitz said in an interview that staff will look at the annexation agreement and report back on whether Hennessy’s request for a sewer line less than 8 inches in diameter is allowed under the annexation agreement.
“We are going to honor the annexation agreement at the end of the day,” Horowitz said at the public hearing.
The hearing on platting of the development will continue on Monday, Dec. 18. The City Council will conduct final plat approval at a date to be announced.