Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sun Valley might extend moratorium

Commercial development could experience ongoing pinch

Express Staff Writer

The city of Sun Valley might extend a moratorium on commercial development this week to provide more time to amend the city's comprehensive plan and design regulations.

The Sun Valley City Council will consider extending the interim moratorium in the city's Commercial Core zoning district during a special meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, at City Hall. A vote to pass the ordinance would extend a moratorium on the processing of applications for subdivisions, land-use permits and master plan developments in the CC zone, which includes Sun Valley Village and Elkhorn Village.

"We aren't done with the actions that the moratorium was put in place to achieve ... We want to be sure they are done before the moratorium expires," said Mark Hofman, Sun Valley community development director.

Efforts are under way to establish definitive criteria in relation to the mass, scale, setbacks and height in the CC district. The city hired an outside consultant, Winston Associates, a Colorado-based land planning firm, for $48,350, to work on such design regulations for Sun Valley's commercial districts.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the consultant's recommended commercial mass and scale guidelines at 9 a.m. on Thursday before the council's meeting.

Extending the moratorium is necessary to provide additional time to finalize the regulations, city officials said.

The effort has come in light of a proposed master development plan put forth by Sun Valley Co. in 2004, which includes new development in the Sun Valley Village. The moratorium also applies to development of the high-profile Sunshine Parcel in Elkhorn.

The halt on commercial development began in January with the council's approval a 182-day emergency moratorium in the commercial centers in order to revise the city's development code. The city took action in May to repeal the emergency moratorium and enacted the interim moratorium, which is due to expire Oct. 23.

The action before the council proposes to extend the moratorium 45 more days.

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