Friday, December 3, 2010

City shouldn’t ‘spot zone’

As a new business owner, currently investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the community, we are very concerned about the spot zoning being considered in the Ketchum light-industrial zone.

Prior to signing the lease for the new Roxy's Market, we were also informed about this property (Stock Lumber) when it was listed for sale. We never considered it a viable option due to its existing zoning. If we knew that spot zoning was an option in the city of Ketchum, and the comprehensive plan could be ignored, we would not have chosen to move forward with the remodel of the old William's Market. We too might have assumed there were other properties available in other locations in town outside the existing downtown core with more affordable rents or purchase price.

Instead, we have made a substantial commitment to the downtown core by signing a long-term lease and investing valuable time, effort and funds into the new Roxy's Market site. We made what appeared at the time to be a sound business decision.

When we or any other business puts together a business plan, one of the major components of that plan is to know where future competitors might establish similar businesses based on the master plan zoning. We understand that comprehensive plans will occasionally be revisited over time and comprehensive studies completed to meet changing community's needs. However, we feel strongly that spot zoning only damages the master plan and all the existing businesses who have adhered to the P&Z rules.

In effect, approval of this spot zoning would greatly benefit one specific developer by creating an unlevel playing field. The end result is that the city would be subsidizing the developer by upzoning this property.

Roxanne & Michael Lawler

Ketchum & Aspen, Colo.

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