For the week of June 9, 1999  thru June 15, 1999  

Will affordable housing be part of McHanville future?

Area could become home to offices, light industrial uses


By KEVIN WISER
Express Staff Writer

With St. Luke’s moving into the neighborhood, big changes are in store for McHanville. Some wonder whether that might include affordable housing in the area.

The Blaine County Housing Authority has identified affordable housing in McHanville as a top priority.

Authority member David Kipping said, "We want to get a foot in the door, let the community and the jurisdictions involved know of the authority’s interest in affordable housing in McHanville."

According to Kipping, there are currently 44 residential units in McHanville. This includes mobile homes and other affordable dwellings.

"We want to at least maintain the existing inventory of affordable housing in McHanville or even enhance or double it," Kipping said.

Whether affordable housing is included in McHanville will depend on zoning.

"We want to preserve affordable housing in McHanville," Kipping said. "We don’t want it to be zoned out of existence."

McHanville is located south of Ketchum near the St. Luke’s hospital site. The area is within Blaine County and in Ketchum’s area of city impact.

Under Idaho law, a city may control development within its impact area because it is expected the area may likely become part of a city.

The Blaine County Comprehensive Plan identifies McHanville as a special study area. Current zoning of McHanville is R-.4, medium- density residential.

The existing light industrial uses in the area do not conform to its zoning designation. County ordinances do not allow non-conforming uses to expand.

Blaine County’s zoning ordinance permits such uses as multi-family dwellings at one unit per four-tenths acre; mobile homes and mobile home subdivisions; public facilities; group day-care facilities; outdoor recreational facilities; and accessory dwelling units.

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Ketchum has drafted planning goals and strategies for the area.

The draft identifies three zoning options for future land use in McHanville. The first makes the existing light industrial uses conforming and allows higher density housing. The other two anticipate the demand for medical offices and other hospital-related uses.

The first option would create a high density residential and limited light industrial zoning district for McHanville. This option would make the existing light industrial uses conforming while providing housing near a major employer. Housing that includes a fair share of affordable units would be encouraged through this option.

The second option would create a health services zoning district that would permit expansion of medical offices and hospital-related uses.

Existing light industrial uses would remain non-conforming. Housing would not be permitted except possibly as an accessory use. Existing housing would likely be replaced and lost, and current residents displaced.

The third option would permit a combination of hospital-related uses and high-density housing that would include some affordable units.

Ketchum planning and zoning administrator Lisa Majdiak said the city council directed planners to look at some kind of zoning hybrid or mix in McHanville that would include medical facilities and housing.

St. Luke’s Wood River Community Council chair Will Storey said St. Luke’s was neither for or against affordable housing in McHanville.

"It’s the business of the county and McHanville to decide if affordable housing should remain in McHanville."

"We want to make sure that hospital facilities are allowed in McHanville," Storey said. "Efficiency is what we’re after. Having doctors offices’ close to the hospital would make it more convenient for both doctors and patients."

 

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