By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
A proposal from a California developer to build a massive new building
in place of the Christiania Lodge, on Sun Valley Road, was met by the Ketchum Planning and
Zoning Commission with resistance Monday night.
Underground parking deficiencies, inadequate refuse pick-up
arrangements and the demolition of a large conifer were among the commissions
Jack Baritow, the projects developer, presented the plans to the
The building is three stories high, towering to 40 feet, five feet
above Ketchums height limit. However, by city ordinance, buildings can be built to
40 feet in exchange for underground parking, which Baritow intends to do.
Baritow explained that the new 51,570-square-foot building will use
architectural elements from the neighboring Colonnade, which Barotow also developed. He
said his success with the Colonnade sparked the vision for the new Christiania.
"The buildings arent going to be the same, but were
trying to take the most successful elements from the Colonnade and use them in the
Christiania," Baritow told the commission.
Recessed store fronts, Boise sandstone, and undulation of the top
floors are among those elements, he said.
Also, the sidewalks would consist of the same heated pavers and
landscaping that the Colonnade uses.
Baritow said he is ready to move very quickly on the project, tearing
down the existing Christiania Lodge in April or May if the commissions go-ahead is
On this go-around, the go-ahead was elusive, however.
The commissioners agreed with one another on most of their individual
"Im opposed to using the same look on the entire
block," Commissioner Peter Gray said.
And the tree on the corner of Sun Valley Road and Walnut Avenue is
something the commissioners want to save. Baritow said, on the other hand, that saving the
tree is impossible.
"Were not going to be able to design around it," he
The commissioners also pointed out that in order to exchange
underground parking for the increased height allowance, somewhere between 39 and 42
underground parking spaces are needed, a figure that is calculated based on the
buildings floor area. Baritows initial plans propose 26 underground parking
"Youve done a good job, and Im sure youll come
back with a lot of these things addressed," commissioner Peter Ripsom told Baritow.
Mondays cursory look at the Christiania plans were part of the
citys pre-application design review process, in which applicants present plans and
receive feedback from the commission.
The commission will not vote on the proposal until the design review
forum at a to-be-scheduled date.