The tug of war over buildings, businesses, parking and
housing in downtown Ketchum will renew before the Planning and Zoning Commission in a
public hearing at City Hall at 7:30 p.m. Monday.
A draft of a new comprehensive plan for the town calls for reducing
densities in about two-thirds of the downtown in a misguided effort to control growth and
generate better looking buildings.
The P&Z is living under the illusion that reducing the size of
buildings allowed downtowninstead of creating and enforcing more stringent design
standardswill make Ketchum a better town.
The question is: "A better town for whom?"
Surely not for businesses that are already stretched to try to pay current
market rental rates. If the P&Zs plan is approved, their space rentals will only
be driven higher.
Surely not for most employees who have difficulty finding affordable local
Surely not for anyone who needs a parking space.
Reducing densities will make it economically impossible for developers to
consider building expensive underground parking or housing.
Surely not for anyone who enjoys the services of local restaurants and
Surely not for anyone who is opposed to hillside building in the county
and strip malls on the highway.
Surely not for anyone who knows that the only known antidote for sprawl is
to concentrate densities in the city.
Mondays hearing is the last chance to convince the P&Z to
embrace wise community planning before it passes this foolish document to the City
Council. Participants should demand that the P&Z divulge for whom the town will be
better if its plan is approved.