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Wednesday, June 9, 2004


Trail access key issue in SV Comprehensive Plan

Guest opinion by NILS A. RIBI

Vice Chairman, Sun Valley Planning & Zoning Commission

Max Walker of Elkhorn and others rightly raise concerns about appropriate access to public lands from within the City of Sun Valley. I, too, have done so as a Planning and Zoning commissioner over the past four years.

In 2000, when it became apparent that the trail access from Fairway Road to Procter Mountain and Corral Creek was going to be lost, I encouraged my fellow commissioners on the Sun Valley Planning & Zoning Commission to attach a "condition of approval" to a nearby subdivision application to preserve that access, as was recommended by the City’s 1994 Comprehensive Plan. The condition would create a trailhead with appropriate parking and signage at the end of Fairway Road to allow hiking access to the Proctor Loop, along with hiking and mountain biking access to the Corral Creek trail. The Sun Valley P&Z Commission approved that trail access plan unanimously on Nov. 14, 2000.

Unfortunately, the previous administration lacked the political will to follow through with all the conditions in the P&Z approval, in spite of my many reminders over the past three and a half years. The new leadership in Sun Valley is interested in seeing that public access to trails and open space is a priority, so recently we attached the same conditions to the construction of the new Dollar Cabin Lodge in an effort to finally get the trail project finished. Rest assured that your access to Procter Mountain was never lost, just ignored by some.

A couple of years ago I also sought access from the new owners of the property at the end of Back Pay Way to allow hikers and mountain bikers to continue to use the extension trail off that end of Procter Mountain. We were assured in public testimony that the access would continue, although gates and signage today seem to indicate the contrary may be the case. This is another access issue we intend to follow up on.

As the City of Sun Valley reworks its Comprehensive Plan this summer and fall it is important for everyone to speak up with their thoughts on public access issues, as well as the many other issues facing the future of the city. The next meeting to discuss the Comprehensive Plan will be June 29 at Sun Valley City Hall starting around 5 p.m. Check the paper for details.

I would encourage all trail users who pass behind the Trail Creek Cabin grounds to be respectful of activities going on there and to be respectful of our neighbors on Fairway Road. Hopefully we can work to create an even better solution to the Trail Creek Cabin area while still allowing appropriate citizen access from within the city.


City of Ketchum

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