Friday, July 15, 2005

Meeting focuses on Sun Valley 's future

Town meeting Tuesday will emphasize comprehensive plan update

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley city officials are summoning citizens to help determine the direction of the city's future during a special meeting next week.

The gathering offers a final opportunity for citizens to review the recently completed draft of Sun Valley's 2005 Comprehensive Plan Update before a formal approval process begins next month.

"The primary purpose is to review and update the city about the comprehensive plan," Mayor Jon Thorson said.

Thorson and other city officials are inviting the public to review the goals and principals of the city's guiding land-use document from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at a "Town Hall Meeting" at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge. The lodge is located on Elkhorn Road near Sun Valley City Hall.

The mayor will open the meeting with a presentation of major aspects of the plan and information on recent updates to the document.

Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee member Linda Thorson and Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Nils Ribi will then detail the proposed future land use planning map that is included with the comprehensive plan.

The plan offers "a serious look into how the lands of the city will be developed," Ribi said.

Thorson said public attendance and input is vital because the P&Z begins the first formal evaluation of the plan Aug. 2 during a public hearing. The commission will soon thereafter likely pass to the City Council a recommendation to approve the plan.

The plan update was guided by the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and various consultants. The committee, appointed by the mayor in April 2004, consisted of 13 citizens and stakeholders who represent a cross-section of the community. The committee worked over 16 months to update the city's guiding document. The work involved 18 work sessions, four Town Hall meetings, planning consultants' advice and several public hearings.

After evaluating and incorporating the ideas, the Steering Committee handed the final draft of the document to the P&Z at a July 7 work session.

The mayor said the committee noted three specific objectives in the plan, including preservation of natural resources and the unique character of the community, providing workforce housing and countywide involvement in a regional transportation plan.

At the meeting, visual displays regarding the city's Dark Sky Ordinance, the proposed Wood River Community YMCA and workforce housing will be offered for viewing.

Meeting set Tuesday

Sun Valley city officials will conduct a special meeting 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at Carol's Dollar Mountain Lodge to review the recently completed draft of the 2005 Comprehensive Plan Update and its associated future land use maps. The city's Planning and Zoning Commission will start a formal public hearing process on Aug. 2.

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