Friday, December 3, 2010

Kill loophole for superstore

The news that developers want Ketchum leaders to table an ordinance that would break open the Light Industrial zone for superstores left onlookers scratching their heads this week.

Ketchum Mayor Randy Hall had broken a tie vote on the City Council after a contentious hearing and sent the ordinance to the second of three readings—one step away from final approval.

The agenda for the council's meeting on Monday, Dec. 6, still shows the second reading set for 6:15 p.m. The council has every option for action up to and including approval or stopping the ordinance in its tracks.

Valmark Inc. wants to develop a superstore on the Light Industrial site formerly occupied by Stock Building Supply, which fronts Warm Springs Road at Lewis Street. Spokesmen said Valmark would defer submitting plans until the city rewrites the economic development segment of its comprehensive plan.

However, putting off plans for a project isn't the same as stopping it. Although he was talking about baseball, what Yogi Berra said applies here, "It ain't over till it's over."

On Monday night, the Ketchum council can table the ordinance, suspend further readings and approve it, send it to a third reading or kill it.

Killing it would be best.

A new comprehensive plan will mean any ordinance to allow superstores will have to be rewritten anyway. Moreover, killing it would remove any temptation for the mayor or council to revisit the ordinance when the public isn't looking.

Killing it would assure the public that this isn't just political sleight of hand.

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