Don’t miss out
opinion by Dewayne Briscoe
Briscoe, who lives in Sun Valley, calls himself "a smart citizen
for sensible solutions."
I do not
own or have any interest in property in McHanville or any other
commercial property in Blaine County.
writing this letter because I have observed that the county may be about
to lose a unique opportunity to help facilitate a state-of-the-art
medical campus that other mountain town areas would certainly desire,
but cannot afford.
I have a
son on a Colorado town ski team and each year I travel to Aspen,
Steamboat, Vail, Telluride, Crested Butte, Breckenridge, Copper
Mountain, Winter Park, and other areas. No town has the newest hospital
and soon to be completed medical office building like St. Luke's here.
complaint in each area, as nearly all races have injuries, is the need
to travel long distances to Denver or Grand Junction for complete
medical care. Like as here, complicated medical cases have to be flown
hospital and medical office building are just a start for a
comprehensive quality care campus.
the vocal minority opposition to the hospital and office building? It
would be massive, out of, place, block views, and always too big. As I
drive by the area today, the office building is barely visible because
of the large, higher land bench behind. Baldy is totally visible and
unblocked from the highway. The hysteria was unfounded. Multi-story
buildings should be allowed. It is the right area for a
complete medical campus.
claim to area of influence should be tempered for the greater concern of
all of Blaine County.
claims are self-serving and disingenuous. Ketchum wants someone else to
solve its affordable housing problem and traffic and parking problems.
Ketchum was partly responsible for the new multi-million dollar, narrow,
three-lane bridge and narrow highway by the hospital because they did
not want "four lanes of traffic coming into Ketchum," yet
Ketchum is afraid of losing doctors and patients to the hospital
complex. Would this not lessen traffic and parking space in Ketchum?
Vacant building owners still pay property tax. Ketchum cannot
have it both ways.
housing should be included for hospital and medical office or medically
small pharmacy should be allowed so Ketchum patients would not have to
drive into Ketchum’s congested Chateau Drug/Atkinsons' area. Less
physical therapy, laboratory and other medical service patients would
not have to drive back and forth from Ketchum doctors to the hospital
and back again. How many traffic trips saved? Hundreds, daily! Sixty
percent of the population is south of the hospital.
affordable housing is not appropriate for this area, only employee
housing. Affordable housing would create more traffic into Ketchum.
Medical use or medically related use should be allowed in multi-story
buildings to be economically feasible. Coffee shops or small restaurants
should be allowed to service the complex, not all retail uses. No real
estate offices or art galleries. This would not create sprawl as
unsightly sprawl is already there. It would enhance the appearance,
enhance an "entrance to Ketchum" and create a medical campus
with resulting increased specialists, increased services, and less need
for life flights to Boise.
could retain its small town appearance and desire and have less need for
of this area would not set a legal precedent for further commercial
growth between the hospital and Hailey as commercial buildings are
future is yours. Do not listen to the vocal minority or special
interests. Act in the best interest of all of Blaine County and your
children. As usual, the "smart citizens" are against this, but
offer no logical or valid alternatives.
zoning, Blaine County can get a quality, comprehensive medical complex
free. Areas like Aspen had to pass property tax increases (bonds) to
build a smaller, much inferior hospital. We have ours free.
Mountain Express should listen to the transportation experts, not the
emotional and nostalgic tiny minority or we will have more examples of
bad decisions like the new three lane bridge and confusing changing lane
solution too simple to understand? Compromise is necessary by all.
The new highway bridge near Greenhorn was engineered and built to a
four-lane standard to accommodate any future highway expansion. However,
it is striped to accommodate the present three-lane configuration.
comment on the design and location of the St. Luke’s medical office
building in 2000 and 2001 precipitated revisions. Blaine County has no
height limits or criteria for design.
negotiations with the county, the building’s size was reduced from the
original proposal of 40,000 square feet to 31,179. The original proposed
height of 46 feet exceeded Ketchum’s 35-foot height limitation. The
hospital reduced the height to 32.5 feet in the final design.