Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Concerns are exaggerated

The Ketchum Community Development Corp., in conjunction with the city of Ketchum, is in the very preliminary stages of examining all of the city-owned lands to help it implement its priority for creating affordable homes for the Ketchum workforce. The CDC appreciates that any project that the city or the CDC undertakes will need to take into account the needs, feelings and opinions of the residents in the surrounding neighborhood. Any potential projects will be designed to fit in with the design and feel of the neighborhood.

Recently, an article appeared in a local newspaper with a quote stating that a potential CDC project would require a shift in the bike path. Some citizens were concerned that this could mean that the bike path would be removed completely from this neighborhood, which has never been contemplated. Furthermore, at this time there are no plans in the proposed South Wood River Drive project that would require moving the current bike path.

There was also an editorial from a local citizen that stated that this proposed project would be 44 feet high by 1,300 feet long by 200 feet wide, and be for rental affordable housing. This statement is ludicrous and fear-mongering at best. This property would be subject to the same zoning regulations as any other piece of land in this zone and is not being envisioned to be large or rental units.

The CDC has more than 70 community volunteers, nearly all of whom live in Ketchum and value both our community and community assets. These volunteers conduct ongoing outreach to the community to ensure that all residents, in all neighborhoods, will be informed of any and all plans for future development.

As site plans and details are developed, the CDC will engage the community in a continuing conversation, through community meetings, newspaper and radio updates and flyers distributed to the community neighborhoods. We intend to make the complete process open and transparent at every level. We further commit to involve the community in each step of the development process, allowing us to use the community input to further the development process in a community-appropriate way.

I will be heading up all outreach efforts and be available to answer questions and address concerns on any CDC project at any time. Please call 727-2117 or e-mail

Gary Rapport

CDC executive director

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