Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WREP opposes zoning change

The Wood River Economic Partnership, after carefully reviewing the pros and cons of allowing a grocery store to be operated on the old Stock Lumber site in Ketchum, opposes the adoption of the proposed text amendment that will be considered by the Ketchum City Council on Oct. 18. Our main reasons for this position are:

- It is inappropriate to deviate significantly from the adopted 2001 comprehensive plan on a piecemeal basis.

- The proposed amendment to the existing LI-2 zoning will likely result in very negative consequences to the commercial core and to many of the existing retail stores.

- The rezoning provides, by intentional city action, a major and unfair advantage to the proposed Valmark store, in that the land was purchased at a price that was held low by the existing zoning.

- It is unfair and inappropriate for the city to take administrative action that would benefit a single property owner while clearly hurting other property owners, particularly when the impetus for the actions comes from the benefiting party. This will be a negative consideration for future investors looking at Ketchum downtown investments.

WREP is not opposed to competition for existing businesses, such as will be provided by the imminent opening of Roxy's Market on Main Street. However, we strongly oppose this first step into spreading our retail area into the Light Industrial district, and we oppose the fundamental unfairness of the city's facilitating a competitive advantage for one business. WREP strongly urges the mayor and City Council of Ketchum to reject the proposed rezoning.

Doug Brown

WREP executive director

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