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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of October 29 - November 4, 2003


Knob Hill Inn plan gets quick critique, no vote

Ketchum P&Z delays
design review until November

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum Planning and Zoning commissioners this week delayed taking action on a proposed addition to the Knob Hill Inn, leaving the inn’s owner irked over what he perceives to be slow progress in the review of his application.

"I don’t know what the problem is," said hotel owner Joe Koenig, noting that his application does not request any waivers or variances to the city zoning code. "In all due respect, I don’t think the city is doing their homework."

In addressing the P&Z Monday, Oct. 27, Koenig stressed he would like to have the city conduct a full review of the project as soon as possible. "What’s the hang-up?" he asked.

At issue is a proposal by Koenig to build an addition to the Knob Hill Inn—the hotel and restaurant business located at 960 Main St.—that would expand the floor area of the operation by approximately 25,000 square feet.

Commissioners first reviewed the application last month, before asking Koenig and project architect Richard Meyer to return on Oct. 27 with a more detailed set of plans for the proposed addition. After additional application materials were submitted to the city last Thursday, Ketchum Planning Director Harold Moniz determined that he had insufficient time to review the material and prepare a detailed staff report for the P&Z.

P&Z commissioners on Monday agreed to look at revisions to the project plans, but quickly made it clear they would not render a decision until a later date.

The proposed addition to the Knob Hill Inn includes plans to demolish an existing garage and swimming pool immediately south of the hotel to make room for six new fractional-ownership condominiums and a new swimming pool and spa facility. The proposed addition is designed to match the existing 26-room hotel, which has approximately 32,000 square feet of developed space.

The proposed structure would at its highest point reach a height of 35 feet, the maximum allowed on the Tourist-zoned site.

Brian Barsotti, the Ketchum developer who on Sept. 2 gained city approval of the proposed 80-room Bald Mountain Lodge, reiterated statements made last month that contend the proposed fractional-ownership units might not comply with the city’s Tourist-district zoning regulations. "Under the ordinance, I don’t think he can build this," Barsotti said.

The zoning regulations specifically state "timeshare" units are allowed in the district, but make no mention of "fractional-ownership units."

Koenig told commissioners that that he would be willing to call the new units at the hotel "timeshare" units—rather than "fractional-ownership" units—to comply with the ordinance.

Ultimately, P&Z commissioners agreed to conduct a full design-review hearing for the project on Monday, Nov.10.

City Attorney Margaret Simms said she would issue a determination on whether the project complies with city zoning regulations, prior to the Nov. 10 meeting.



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