Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Zoning change would hurt other businesses

We write to express opposition to the Light Industrial text amendment under consideration by the Ketchum City Council that would create an exception to the city's zoning laws for the benefit of a grocery store that wants to locate itself in the LI zone, outside the downtown core. We have two primary reasons for our opposition:

First, by pulling foot and car traffic away from the downtown core, a grocery store in the LI zone would harm the prospects of the businesses in our downtown core. These businesses, which are suffering now under difficult economic conditions, are key to the health of our community, and they need all the customer traffic the city can create for them. The amendment under consideration is akin to tossing an anchor to a drowning man.

Second, the amendment smells of "spot zoning" for the benefit of a special interest. Spot zoning is surely something to avoid. It lowers the opinion of our local government in the public's mind. It thwarts development and capital formation by adding an element of unreliability to our laws. Would Roxy's Market have undertaken its development efforts in the downtown core if it knew the zoning laws did not apply to the competition? Would any other business?

We urge the Ketchum City Council to reject this amendment and create a business environment marked by certainty and reliability.

Jack and Elizabeth Bunce

Cindy Kirk

Will Hovey

Rebecca Waycott

Beverley Robertson

Charles Conn

Gretchen and Terry Palmer

Kirk Riedinger

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