hotel receives P&Z approval
69-foot clock tower
Express Staff Writer
new high-end hotel received the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission’s
unanimous endorsement Thursday, despite a height that, at its very
highest, is 29 feet taller than the 40 feet the city allows in its
P&Z gave the 59-foot-tall Bald Mountain Hotel design review approval
and sent the Ketchum City Council a recommendation to approve the
building’s height, which includes a 69-foot-tall clock tower. The
building would replace the historic Bald Mountain Lodge, which occupies
an entire block at the south end of Ketchum’s Main Street.
Greg Strong was absent from the meeting.
architectural plans, said Commissioner Rod Sievers, are "a
first-class proposal we should embrace and send on to the council."
Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously endorsed plans
Thursday for a new Bald Mountain Hotel that would be 69-feet tall at its
highest point and 59-feet tall at its highest roof line. Architect’s
P&Z acknowledged the building’s height, but said the economic
benefits of a hotel would outweigh any negative impacts the building
might impose on Ketchum’s skyline.
attorney Brian Barsotti, who is proposing to develop the hotel, spent
about a half-hour trying to diffuse public objections to the building’s
height, which he said is necessary to accommodate the planned 88
high-end rooms. He said he would be willing to lower the roof by 4 feet
6 inches by lessening the roof’s pitch, but the building’s
architect, Larry Stricker, said that could harm the building’s
would be like someone wearing a hat that’s too small," he said.
P&Z ultimately agreed with Stricker’s assessment.
meeting included a two-hour public hearing in which most citizens who
spoke said they were adamantly opposed to any extra height allowances.
is a big mistake," said Hailey resident and Ketchum Community
Library employee Crystal Thurston. "We’re destroying the soul of
our town, and we need to protect the beauty of our town."
said the building would fit better if it were to be situated against a
Hogan, another opponent, sarcastically added that the new hotel would at
least make the First Bank of Idaho building look smaller.
I’m trying to suggest is that we control where we’re going before we
get there too quickly," Hogan said.
others said the building will set a precedent that other downtown
developers will take advantage of.
is a beautiful project, there’s no doubt about it, but the height
scares me," he said.
88-room, four-story Bald Mountain Hotel is proposed to have a 59-foot
roofline with a 69-foot clock tower.
59-foot-tall, fourth story would only cover 12 percent of the building
near its center, Barsotti said.
Street would be fronted by a 30-foot, two-story façade.
need to understand that it’s only in the center that it’s this high,
that other portions of the project are lower," Ketchum’s acting
planning administrator, Harold Moniz, said.
said the four-story, stepped back building appears to impact views less
than a three-story, bulkier version he had previously studied.
city approval of he building is contingent on the planned unit
development (PUD) application, which would allow the extra height, and
on design review approval, which the P&Z granted last week.
Ketchum City Council is scheduled to host a public hearing on Barsotti’s
PUD height application at its regular meeting Dec. 16.