Friday, February 16, 2007

Final TDR discussion set

City Council to take public comment Monday night

Express Staff Writer

This map shows proposed ?sending sites,? which would, if a revised ordinance is approved by the Ketchum City Council, allow those sites to sell development rights to property owners in the Community Core zoning district. The voluntary system is being created to offer incentives for the preservation of historic buildings, which are disappearing rapidly in the face of escalating property values and demand for land in Ketchum. Graphic courtesy city of Ketchum

The Ketchum City Council has set aside 90 minutes during its meeting Monday for public comment on the city's proposed transfer of development rights system.

TDRs are a way to encourage the preservation of buildings that represent local history, heritage and traditional scale and architecture, while allowing greater density in other areas of town.

In the TDR system, certain sites are designated "sending areas" and can sell development rights up to the city's allowable maximum height. Property owners in "receiving areas" can buy those rights to build taller buildings, up to an extra floor above the maximum of three.

The council is leaning toward designating the entire commercial core as a "receiving site overlay." Property owners who want additional height could buy TDRs, but they would first have to meet certain criteria in order to apply to the city for that right.

City Attorney Ben Worst said that would help eliminate claims of illegal "spot zoning."

Sites in the overlay would be eligible to become receiving areas if they are located on downtown streets that are 80 or 100 feet wide. Those include Walnut Avenue, East Avenue, Main Street, First Avenue and Second Avenue. Eligible receiving area sites would also be within the retail core sub-district, which is roughly bound by Spruce, Sun Valley Road, the east side of Main Street and Sixth Street.

Exempted from being receiving areas are lots on the east side of Main Street between Second and Fourth streets and the west side of Main Street between Second and Third streets.

Although the system is voluntary, TDRs are permanent, and a "sending" property that sold its rights would forever be marked as deed-restricted.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 480 East Ave. North in Ketchum. TDRs are the fifth item on the agenda.

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