Friday, August 12, 2005

P&Z set to consider Sun Valley comp plan

Express Staff Writer

The Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission will formally review a draft update of the city's guiding land-use document during a public hearing next week.

The P&Z will hold a public hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, to generate more feedback on the Sun Valley 2005 Comprehensive Plan Update. The commission is expected to pass a recommendation of approval to the City Council after the hearing.

The update establishes a general framework to guide the physical, social, economic and environmental development of the community.

The plan, through a proposed Future Land Use Map, presents major changes to the city's lands, including designating approximately 3,000 acres of land as open space.

"This comp plan will make Sun Valley so unique in the resort world, if we can protect this open space," said Nils Ribi, P&Z chairman and a member of the city's comprehensive plan steering committee.

Delineating open space is proposed through the inclusion of "Land Use Planning Area" maps that detail six tracts of land owned by Sun Valley Co.

Recommended land uses for the six parcels include:

· Sun Valley Resort Village Core:

Identified as the primary center of commerce, the land surrounding the resort core is designated for resort commercial use, permitting commercial and residential activity. The parcel includes a permanent site for the Sun Valley Symphony and designates Sun Valley Village as a special site. The plan allows for 1,043 planned development units as the maximum allowable density.

· Sun Valley Gun Club:

The Gun Club area, the lands north of Sun Valley Village along Trail Creek Road, primarily call for recreational uses. The plan allows a new 18-hole golf course, a golf clubhouse and Nordic skiing. The proposal also provides for 395 low-to-medium-density residential housing. The area designates a public space for a new fire station, but contains no open space.

· Sun Valley "Gateway":

The gateway to the city includes the lands on the west side of Sun Valley Road from the city's five-acre parcel to the intersection of Saddle and Dollar roads and the lands along the east side of Sun Valley Road from the Red Barn to the Horseman's Center.

The plan under consideration calls for the front portion of the city's five-acre parcel to be designated as public/quasi public. Although the front section of the parcel is marked with a park symbol, the public/quasi land-use designation includes government facilities and workforce housing. The proposed plan allows residential uses on the back (northern) side of the public parcel.

The mapping designates an undisturbed corridor of open-space land stretching on the west side of Sun Valley Road to the Saddle Road intersection. The designation of Penny Hill as open space required the city to distribute the 112 units of existing development rights located around the hill to lands elsewhere in the area. Under the proposal, a 125-unit maximum is permitted as medium-density residential development.

· Horseman's Center and The Community School:

The area near the Horseman's Center and The Community School are designated as public/quasi public and medium-density residential. No maximum density is designated. The current zoning does not allow residential development.

· Dollar Mountain, Prospector Hill and Sun Valley Municipal Complex:

Planning for Dollar Mountain and the surrounding area allows for the expansion of recreational activities, transit, parking and City Hall. A total of 92 single-family and multi-family units are permitted in the area.

· River Run:

Located outside of city limits, near Ketchum, but viewed as a key component in the resort's development, River Run is included in the plan. The city supports residential, commercial and recreational development that includes a gondola linking River Run to Dollar Mountain.

At the upcoming meeting, the commission will consider a proposal to consolidate the Sun Valley Resort village core and the Horseman's Center and The Community School planning areas, with additional land, to create a new land-use planning area.

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