Friday, May 27, 2011

P&Z keeps gondola ‘vision’ alive

Discussion continued to June 9 meeting


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

The idea of a proposed gondola across Sun Valley and Ketchum remains up in the air.

During a meeting on Thursday, May 26, the Sun Valley Planning & Zoning Commission continued combing through the city's comprehensive plan, discussing proposed changes.

The meeting was a continuation of one earlier this month, during which two applications were discussed: Sun Valley Co.'s requested revisions to the text of the 2005 comprehensive plan update and the land-use designation of the future land-use map as they apply to Sun Valley Co. land; and the city's application for general revisions to the text of the comprehensive plan update.

The amendments under consideration would not impact the overall vision of the comprehensive plan.

"They're not broad changes," said Mark Hofman, Sun Valley community development director.

For those who live next to affected land, however, some of the changes, if enacted, could be significant.

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One such item in the Sun Valley Co. application is language pertaining to a proposed gondola and its alignment. A gondola could transport people from Sun Valley to Ketchum and the River Run base of Bald Mountain. However, Commissioner Margaret Walker said it is premature to use language that suggested where it could be built.

"I realize this is a vision," she said. "[But] I think it's too early for this portion of the vision. I'm just really concerned with all those people that live there. I'm thinking of ... would I really want that in my backyard?"

Commissioner Jake Provonsha said he wants to keep in language that "at least allows for that to be considered in this area."

Commissioners opted for language that says the view protection corridor in question "could allow" for a gondola.

Other discussion items involved the comprehensive plan's suggestion that the airport is unworkable, which Commission Chair Ken Herich called "propaganda," and a dedicated funding source for flight minimum-revenue guarantees, a topic supported by Wally Huffman, director of resorts and resort development for Sun Valley Co. Commissioners may address those items at their next meeting on Thursday, June 9.

The P&Z is expected to finalize its recommendations at that meeting. The applications will then be taken up by the City Council as proposed resolutions, possibly in July.

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com




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