Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Evolvement or attrition

I am fortunate enough to have been born and raised in this amazing valley and am now fortunate enough to be a homeowner and full-time resident of Warm Springs.

Over the last few years since Warm Springs Ranch was first sold and then resold—and then sold yet again—I have watched and listened with an open mind to many project proposals and the publics pro and con opinions regarding them.

The consensus seems to be that we are in dire need of hotel rooms and the prestige and national advertising that a five-star resort would bring, but that nobody wants it built near their home or in a way that will have any impact on their view or traffic flow. Are you kidding me? Nimby, nimby, nimby and meanwhile businesses close and the town dies.

Over and over again, in public meetings and on the streets of Ketchum, I have actually heard things like, "I like town just the way it is—we went out to dinner last night and had the whole restaurant to ourselves. It was our own private party!" Or, "I like when the stores are quiet so I can browse in peace." This line of thinking is very naive and extremely narcissistic. Do these people think that the entire community can afford to finance their desire for solace and solitude everywhere they go?

The Warm Springs Ranch property will be developed and the best case scenario for this valley is that it be developed by someone who is: a) environmentally conscious and b) has the financial resources to build something we can all be proud of and that will provide us with recreation and amenities. We have to embrace these people who have held numerous neighborhood meetings, asked our opinions and made as many changes as possible to accommodate our wishes (none of which was required by the way) or run the risk of scaring them off and ending up with a developer who may build something that will not provide us with as many community benefits or be at all environmentally sound.

Please remember that this is a community, not just a bunch of little fiefdoms, and sometimes we must step out of our comfort zone for the greater good of the entire valley.

Erin Kelso

Warm Springs

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