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For the week of September 27 through October 3, 2000

Range without relief?

Express Staff Writer

Porta-potties, sometimes viewed as an eyesore, are common at various locales around the valley.

But there are times they are a very welcome sight—say, after quenching one’s thirst with a liter of water while hitting a bucket of balls at the public Bigwood Golf Course driving range, on Highway 75 at the northern end of Ketchum.

A full-bladder-inflicted golfer’s choices are to leave his or her bucket of balls and clubs, drive or walk all the way back to the clubhouse, which is a third of a mile away, or to make use of the bushes.

A proposal was made by the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission to the golf course in late August that it replace the Porta-potty with actual bathrooms.

Nearby home owners, however, say they don’t want either.

Two P&Z members presented the idea to the city council on Monday of last week. New bathrooms would be part of a revised master plan for the Bigwood planned unit development, of which the golf course is a part.

Murray Campbell, president of the Bigwood Home Owners Association, said in a phone interview last week that the "P&Z [members] were not aware of our objections."

The association’s board of directors are in agreement and represent the approximately 70 homeowners in and around the Bigwood Golf Course, Campbell said.

The Porta-potty at the driving range is "not conducive to a residential area," he said.

Campbell said the Bigwood Golf Course annexation agreement states that the golf course would be first-rate.

"You wouldn’t expect a restroom in front of your house at a first-rate golf course," he said.

The prospective W.C. would be about 100 yards from a new home now under construction. There are existing trees and shrubs between the house and the range. The new house sits slightly above the range.

The only other home or lot near the location is across the street and up a hill.

Campbell said the home owners association fears a public loo may be misused. Elsewhere, Campbell said, there have been certain "shenanigans" known to go on in public washrooms.

When questioned about the possibility of "shenanigans," Ketchum Police Chief Cal Nevland said he’d never had a report of misuse of public bathrooms other than graffiti and occasional drunkenness.

The only "shenanigating" he could remember being reported was on a picnic table and some "shenanigating" that occurred by the dumpster near Atkinsons’ Market.

Declared one local: "I golfed [at the range] last week and used the Porta-potty. Someone else used the bushes. It’d be crazy not to have a toilet out there."


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