Meeting set to finalize remaining design review regs
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
After wrangling with the issue for over a
month, the Ketchum City Council last week created an incentive for
developers to build hotels rather than other commercial buildings.
Commercial building densities are measured
using a planning tool called floor area ratio (FAR), a building’s square
footage divided by its lot size.
During a meeting on Tuesday of last week,
the council voted to grant hotels in the city a density of 1.75 FAR, up
from the base FAR of 1.4, as long as there is one hotel room for every 800
square feet of building and so long as the hotel is deed restricted as a
hotel in perpetuity.
The FAR increase for hotels is the same as
that offered to developers who provide affordable housing as a part of
The affordable housing and hotel bonuses
are just two parts of extensive new design review regulations the city is
drafting in response to a recent construction boom of large commercial
buildings in the city’s downtown.
Remaining to be adopted is a transferable
density rights (TDR) ordinance, which will enable developers to sell FAR
they don’t use on their properties to other developers who will be
allowed to build to a maximum of 1.75. Also remaining is a more subjective
section of the new guidelines dealing with general building design
concerns such as color, building materials and textures, and use of
The council will consider TDRs and the move
subjective regulations—called .020 by city officials, after the number
used to designate them in the ordinance—at its next meeting on Feb. 5 at