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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of  October 24 - 30, 2001


Foundation grants land for new city park

Express Staff Writer

In the midst of one of Ketchum’s most prolific commercial construction booms, Ketchum planners acquired a reprieve Monday night.

The Cimino Foundation, run by Jim and Barbara Cimino, is developing a public park on downtown commercial property they own at the corner of Sixth and Main streets, across from the Clarion Inn. The proposal received unanimous approval from the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission Monday.

The two vacant lots have been empty for about three years. Should they have run the course of many of downtown Ketchum’s vacant properties, they might have transformed into a large commercial building.

"What we’re hopeful of is that through the generosity of the individuals who are doing this, it will set a precedent," Ketchum attorney Brian Barsotti told the P&Z.

Commissioners were enthusiastic.

"This is a great example of a public/private partnership," Commissioner Susan Scovell said. "We are so lucky."

Sun Valley Garden Center owner Mike Turzian said the Ciminos simply wish to give back to their community. He presented the commission with a landscaping plan that included grass, trees, benches, a gazebo, a fountain, picnic tables, paths and a fence enclosing the area.

The fence will prevent playing children from chasing balls or dogs into the streets, as well as enable closure of the property at night, Turzian said.

The fountain will squirt water skyward from an at-grade platform, similar to the fountain at The Grove in Boise, Turzian said, though it will only spray a couple of feet into the air. He said it should provide a nice spot for children to get a little wet in the summer.

Under the partnership between the city and the Cimino Foundation, Ketchum would provide electricity and water to the property, as well as improve the Sixth Street sidewalk and pave the alley between the park and the city’s public parking lot.

Turzian and Barsotti will request Nov. 5 that the Ketchum City Council convert the neighboring, city-owned parking lot to two-hour parking in order to facilitate parking space turnover.

The P&Z also unanimously approved plans for a new commercial building at the corner of East Avenue and Fourth Street, across from Atkinsons’ Market.

Architect Peter Ripsom, also a Ketchum city councilman, designed the wood and stone, European-style building. The three-story structure will include retail space and four residential units, one of which will be deed-restricted as an affordable housing unit.

Commissioner Baird Gourlay said the building is what the city was looking for when it rewrote it design guidelines last winter.

"The intent in writing this is what we’re getting," he said.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.