Wednesday, June 15, 2011

P&Z nudges request by Giacobbi Square

Improvements have been delayed

Express Staff Writer

Businesses sometimes get a little understanding from city officials during rough economic times. But Giacobbi Square LLC's request for a second design-review extension prompted the Ketchum Planning & Zoning Commission to ask when the property owners were going to move forward on previously outlined plans for the loading and parking areas.

The Giacobbi Square project involves a remodel of portions of the retail complex at Fifth Street and Leadville Avenue, the addition of a roof structure and an extension of the western wall.

The applicant cited the current state of the economy and the desire to explore long-term planning options as reasons for the one-year request, according to a city staff report.

P&Z commissioners during their June 13 meeting discussed what if anything could be done to encourage visual improvements before deciding whether to approve or deny the extension.

Commissioner Deborah Burns said the back area of the building has been unsightly for years, and is in a condition that is unfair to neighbors as well as to owners of empty lots, who have to keep up their property while waiting to develop them.

Commissioner Steve Cook saw an opportunity to craft conditions to go along with an extension, using the request as a "leverage moment."

"Let's get something out of this," he said.

Applicant representative Matt Engel, with Engel & Associates real estate company, said he would meet with city staff to work out improvements that could be accomplished in the near-term.

The P&Z will take up the issue again at the July 11 meeting.

Rebecca Meany:

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