Price of growth
What do you do with thousands of cubic yards of dirt and rock?
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
Ketchums many new commercial construction projects that include
underground parking arent coming without unforeseen side effects.
In three projects slated for excavation this monththe Christiania
commercial building, Private Residence Resort (to be built on the Snug Building site on
Sun Valley Road) and The Plaza in Warm Springs33,000 cubic yards of dirt and rock
will need to be removed, according to a report compiled by Ketchum planning administrator
Of that amount, 12,000 cubic yards can be returned to the sites as
backfill around foundations, but not before its sifted and sorted to produce
In the past, trucks have transported the material to Ohio Gulch or
Bellevue to be sifted and then returned to construction sites.
For the three aforementioned projects, that translates into 3,300 truck
loads traveling south from Ketchum and 1,200 returning north, according to Horowitz.
But there could be a way to alleviate the impact thousands of trucks
traveling the highway will have on Wood River Valley residents.
Monday night, Horowitz posed the question to the Ketchum City Council of
potentially housing a sifting machine somewhere in the north end of the valley.
Council members tossed around the idea of using the citys park &
ride lot as a sifting or storage site for the process, but a clear decision was not
Council members asked Horowitz to return options they can entertain for
housing such a contraption in or near Ketchum. The council will consider the issue again
at its Sept. 4 meeting.
The council also unanimously approved plans for Ketchums second
affordable housing project, which will be built south of Ketchum in the new River Glen
subdivisionformerly the Sun Valley RV Park.
Developer Doug McPherson has headed the effort.
McPherson is building three affordable units under one roof in exchange
for higher development densities on the old RV park site. Two of the units will be
two-bedroom, 972 square-foot units. One will be a one-bedroom, 685-square-foot unit.
Under the RV parks light residential zoning, five lots could be
subdivided. Under the citys planned unit development (PUD) ordinance, however, seven
lots will be subdivided in exchange for the affordable housing units.
The citys PUD ordinance allows developers to trade affordable
housing units for higher development densities.
Councilman Maurice Charlat has said he has some problems with
Ketchums first affordable housing project, The Fields at Warm Springs.
The Fields doesnt have enough storage space and no garages, and the
units are too densely packed, he said.
"If we move forward on (River Glen), it should become a shining
example of what employee housing should look like," he said in a June meeting.
In an interview yesterday, he said he is pleased with McPhersons
"I think theyve been innovative and very, very responsive to
the suggestions made by the council," he said.
"Theres garage space. Theres closet space. Theyre
well designed in my opinion. They (McPherson and his design team) deserve some credit for
being as cooperative as they were."
The three units will be offered for sale in the $100,000 price range.
There wasnt much fanfare when the council unanimously voted in favor
of the citys proposed fiscal 2000/2001 budgetonly objections from the usual
contingent of residents opposed to chamber of commerce funding.
The $8.4 million budget is an increase of 9.4 percent over last year.
A new city planner and fire marshal are proposed as new personnel
expenditures, and the citys contract with the Sun Valley/Ketchum Chamber of Commerce
is proposed to be increased by $16,500, to $331,500 for marketing and visitor information
Ketchum resident Jake Jacoby told council members they are robbing
Ketchums taxpayers by contracting with the chamber of commerce. He also charged that
previously published stories in the Mountain Express failed to point out that
public opinion at a previous city council hearing was overwhelmingly against the chamber
of commerce contract.
"The chamber stacked the meeting," he said. Discounting the
comments of chamber members, he said, "it was actually 4-1 against funding."
The council also set firm dates on which it will consider and finalize the
citys draft comprehensive plan, possibly adopting the plan by the end of September.
The council was joined by the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission for the comp plan
The plan has been in the drafting process for three years.
A series of three Tuesdays were selected for comp plan work: Aug. 29 at 4
p.m., Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. and Sept. 19 at 4 p.m.
Horowitz said the council could possibly wrap things up at the Sept. 19
"Were trying to get this wrapped up, but were also trying
to get the public re-involved," Commissioner Rod Sievers said.