Planning board to discuss review fees

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Without a building department or staff planner, occasionally the town of Hayden must seek the services of engineers, attorneys and planners when reviewing large projects.

The costs of such services are hard to predict and not easily laid out at the beginning of the review process, so Town Manager Russ Martin wants to enact a development review fee agreement in which developers would accept the responsibility of costs associated with external services.

The Hayden Planning Commission will discuss the agreement Thursday night.

"My feeling is it's better to put that up front to developers so there are no surprises," Martin said.

It's unnecessary to pay the salary of a staff planner when there is not a steady stream of large development proposals in Hayden. But at the same time, developers need to know there are external review costs sometimes not covered by the small set fee specified in the town code, Martin said.

"This is in anticipation of something larger we can't take care of in-house," he said.

A summary of anticipated fees would accompany the agreement.

Also on Thursday, planning commissioners will discuss adding an ordinance to the town code that clearly defines the site plan review process for subdivisions and commercial and industrial projects.

The ordinance will include provisions for necessary data and application materials as well as aspects that the commission will consider in the process such as building and site character, parking and loading, trails and sidewalks and storm water and site drainage.

The ordinance also would detail when public meetings regarding a project need to take place and the appeals process if an application is denied.

"It formalizes the process so everybody knows what's expected of them, including the Planning Commission," Martin said, noting that the process will not apply to single-family homes.

During the meeting, the commission also will consider a minor subdivision proposal for a lot on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and U.S. Highway 40.

William and Andrea Hayden want to split the lot into two, one containing the Hayden Mercantile and the other the planned Mountain Valley Bank. The owners would be responsible for extending city services to the new building.

Subdividing the lot would be more convenient for leasing purposes and legal paperwork, Martin said.

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