Sun Valley eyes commercial zone
P&Z schedules public
on March 11
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
Sun Valley Planning and
Zoning commissioners Tuesday showed strong support for a set of proposed changes
to the city’s Commercial Core zoning district.
In their first full-fledged
consideration of changes to the regulations that govern land use in Elkhorn
Village and Sun Valley Village, commissioners Tuesday indicated they will likely
propose to the City Council that the city take measures to ensure that the two
commercial centers maintain provisions for small businesses.
"We cannot exclude
commercial," Commissioner Nils Ribi said. "We need to have it. Because
the comprehensive plan says it needs to be there, and the zoning law says it
needs to be there."
The two-hour workshop was
conducted in response to a December directive by the City Council that the
P&Z conduct a review of the language governing the CC zoning district and
hold a public hearing on the matter.
Sun Valley City Council
members on Dec. 19 approved a 120-day moratorium on the processing of new
applications for development projects in Elkhorn Village and Sun Valley Village.
The moratorium proposal was
put forth by city staff in response to a potential surge in development
applications for CC-zoned lands that propose only residential uses—rather than
the intended mix of residential and commercial uses.
considered numerous proposed changes to the CC district regulations, including:
Setting the maximum
allowable density of multiple-family dwellings at 21 units per acre, unless
20 percent of the units are designated as deed-restricted affordable
housing, in which case increased density would be allowed.
multi-family dwelling developments on parcels greater than four acres to
provide a minimum of 100 square feet of usable floor area dedicated to
retail or service businesses.
Restricting the height of
new developments to 44 feet (the maximum in the city’s RM-1 and RM-2
residential districts), while maintaining the current 64-foot height limit
for hotels with 60 rooms or more.
agreed that they want to encourage developments in the CC zones that have
greater density and a diversity of housing types, including affordable housing.
However, P&Z members
struggled to some extent in determining the amount of commercial space that
should be required.
Director Jack Cloud noted that the establishment of commercial space would not
guarantee that it would be used. "You can’t make them rent it out,"
he said. "There’s some reliance on the marketplace to chip in here."
Commissioners concurred that
they would like to consider the 21-unit-per-acre maximum, but also establish a
30-unit-per-acre maximum for smaller units of 1,200-square-feet or less. In
addition, they agreed to consider establishing a "density bonus" that
would allow additional units if an approved amount of affordable housing was
Commissioner Mark Pynn said a
considerable amount of commercial space would be needed to establish the
foundation for a viable business district. "It takes commercial to build
commercial," he said.
Ribi suggested setting the
requirements for construction of commercial space at 200 square feet per
multi-family dwelling and 140 square feet for smaller, studio units.
Wayne Roth, a planning
consultant for Elkhorn Resort owner CG-Elkhorn, told commissioners that his
associates have not determined how many residential units they plan to build on
the 11-acre resort site once the existing buildings are torn down. However, he
said the number would be "way under" the proposed maximums.
Roth noted that CG-Elkhorn is
currently developing a master plan for the site that includes a mix of
residential and commercial uses. He said the group is "talking to a grocery
store that wants 2,000 square feet" of space, and is looking at developing
between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet of commercial space on the entire site.
He said CG-Elkhorn may be
interested in developing a small hotel, but may not develop a restaurant.
"It’s going to be tough for us to build a restaurant and hope they’ll
come," he said.
Commissioners agreed to hold
a special follow-up workshop with Roth and other CG-Elkhorn consultants Tuesday,
March 4, at 9 a.m. to discuss the proposed changes.
The P&Z will conduct a
public hearing on a set of refined changes on Tuesday, March 11.