reconsider hotel size, height
Express Staff Writer
reopening its downtown zoning laws to consider amending recently amended
ordinances that dictate the height, size and style of downtown buildings.
which could allow for taller and denser buildings, would only be for
is no question in my mind that this is a very complex issue, and weíre
going to have to hear from a lot more people," Ketchum Planning and
Zoning Commissioner Peter Gray said.
unanimously voted Monday night to put off consideration of the issue for a
month in order to amend the proposal and to raise public awareness about
the potential changes.
to the P&Zís decision, the proposal will be amended to include a
mechanism to transfer heights and densities between Ketchumís buildings
to allow hotels to build to higher heights and densities than other
strongly believe we are lacking hotels, and itís been detrimental to
have lost the beds weíve lost," Commissioner Rod Sievers said.
"But whatever we do needs to be site specific."
surrounding Ketchumís hotels and motels isnít new. For several years,
residents have watched as lodges and hotels have disappeared, including
the Alpenrose, Heidelberg and Christiania.
Elkhorn Resort on the verge of closing its doors in Sun Valley, thereís
a niche to be filled in the north valley, Ketchum lawyer and developer
Brian Barsotti said.
does Ketchum want to be?" Barsotti asked the P&Z. "Does
Ketchum want to be a bedroom community for Sun Valley, or does it want to
be a resort?"
owns Ketchumís historic Bald Mountain Lodge, which occupies an entire
block and fronts on Main Street. According to city planners and officials,
Barsottiís is one of only several sites in the city that can accommodate
Bald Mountain Lodge is replaced with a new hotel or condominiums, it
"isnít here for long," Barsotti said.
donít do a hotel, we definitely need to do something else," he
course of several months, Barsotti said he has worked with a team of hotel
designers and consultants to determine if a new, full service hotel at his
Bald Mountain Lodge site is feasible.
would unequivocally be easier to build residential than a hotel,"
Barsotti said. "I live in Ketchum, and Iíve thought a lot about
this. If we can do this the way weíd like to, we can make a hotel
adding a fourth floor and incorporating fractional ownership to help the
business make money during shoulder seasons.
to the cityís zoning code can not be based on a particular site,
Planning Administrator Lisa Horowitz said. Officials therefore decided to
study several sites, including Barsottiís, to determine how zoning code
amendments might affect the eventual appearances of hotels. Winter &
Co., the Boulder-based firm that helped Ketchum rewrite its downtown
zoning code two years ago, will study several sites for about $5,000,
owner of the Tamarac Lodge in Ketchum and the Wood River Inn in Hailey,
said he perceives a definite need for more short-term beds in Ketchum.
the summer, if I had another 80 rooms, I could sell them," Carwin
said. "I think itís pretty short sighted to pass on a developer who
is trying to do something for the community. For our tourist economy, itís
going to have to happen."