HAYDEN, Idaho — Infrastructure construction has begun on Hayden's largest development project: Hayden Canyon.
"Phase 1A is really close to construction," Hayden community development director Donna Phillips said. "They're not quite there, but they're almost there. We’re going to be seeing lots of activity going on."
The master-planned community on 610 acres at Lancaster Road and north Government Way will one day boast more than 1,500 homes, ranging from townhouses and cottages to neighborhood homes and manor estates. Two and a half dwelling units will be allowed per acre.
The community should expect to see the first of these houses spring up by late summer.
"From a city’s perspective, housing choices of all sizes help meet demands of all residents," Phillips said. "Literally it has the whole spectrum of what’s allowed in residential in the city."
She said residents in the area have been notified of travel inconveniences, although road construction is not expected to be much of an issue.
"Government Way will have some road closures," Phillips said. "We’re anticipating it will have one lane open at all times through the project. Most all the work on Lancaster will be done out of the roadway."
Hayden Canyon has been in the works for nearly two decades. Like all long journeys, changes have been made along the way.
The entity that originally purchased the land, Hayden Canyon LLC, sold the property in its entirety to the Stafford Land Company in July 2020. Stafford, based south of Portland, has since sold pieces of the land to other companies to develop. A handful of entities now own parts of Hayden Canyon, including about 11 acres owned by the nonprofit Institute for Community.
"It’s a lot of land," Phillips said. "It's a big piece of property for one developer."
Stafford land development manager Bryan Cavaness said the company is working with the city of Hayden to build a public park and address sewer and sanitation requirements.
"We are continuing to process development applications for the property," he said. "We're preparing a plat for the second phase on the east side of the canyon."
Lennar Homes of Idaho LLC now owns the 49 acres east of Government Way and south to about Emerald Estates. Lennar is planning 163 homes for that space.
Post Falls-based SUF Holdings LLC, which owns 125 northeast acres up to Hayden Canyon Charter Academy, is in the process of finalizing engineering. It's planning 102 housing units, mostly single-family and townhomes.
While ownership has shifted, the overall concept for a master-planned community has not changed.
The approved master plan includes on-site amenities, including a community park, community center, the charter school and an existing equestrian center. Walking paths and trails will provide residents routing options throughout the canyon.
Part of the annexation agreement was to dedicate 40% of the property, 246.6 acres, to open space. Cavaness said he hopes that aspect is appreciated by residents.
"We decided that was the most appropriate thing for the community," he said. "We are listening to community concerns."
Stafford principal and founder Gordon Root said Hayden Canyon will provide housing that is much needed in North Idaho.
"It's going to provide diverse housing — townhomes, cottages, all the way up to luxury homes," he said. "It’s going to enhance and provide walking paths in the canyon as well as another city park, and it's going to provide a commercial center that will be a great community gathering space.
"It's going to be a magnet community," he said, "a destination place where people who presently live in Hayden are going to want to go visit and play."
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