Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What is your vision for Ketchum?

Public meeting next week will kick off comp plan update


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

It's not too hard to get an opinion about what's right and what's wrong with Ketchum. Next week, opinions not only will be asked but also will be collected as part of a vision plan for the city.

Ketchum officials are hosting a town hall meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 26, that will launch a rewrite of the city's comprehensive plan. Full-time residents, part-time residents, visitors and people who work in town but live elsewhere are all welcome to air their ideas.

"The comprehensive plan is a guiding document for the city of Ketchum in terms of land use, development, growth and infrastructure," said Joyce Allgaier, Ketchum's planning manager. "It's a vision developed by the community to create a road map for our future. It will also confirm what the values of this community are about our future."

In an effort to get everyone's input, as well as data on whose input is being given, meeting organizers will use keypad polling, hand-held devices that allow attendees to submit anonymous answers to questions. Responses then will be immediately compiled and shown to the audience. Data later will be made into reports for use in the plan's update.

"You don't have to get up to speak, but your input is going to be heard through this tool," Allgaier said. "It's an equal engagement opportunity."

The meeting's guest speaker will be Chris Gates, executive director of PACE, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement.

Ketchum's current comp plan was adopted in 2001.

"Now it's time to refresh it and rethink where we want to go as a community," Allgaier said.

The existing comp plan addresses topics such as affordable housing, infrastructure, parks, connectivity and transit.

"These are all things that will be revisited," Allgaier said.

Many things have changed since the plan's last iteration, not the least of which is the economy. The current environment is a good one for an update, she said.

"It's a good time to do a comprehensive plan because we've been through some good times and now we're in tougher times," she said. "That will help community members see what's at the core of our community. It lends a new perspective."

The update will take about 18 months and will include more public meetings, focus groups, incorporation of existing information, analysis and an implementation plan.

Next week's meeting will be a chance for the public to help guide the process.

"I really hope people will come out and get involved," Allgaier said.

When and where

The kick-off for "Planning our Common Future," Ketchum's comprehensive plan, takes place from 6 -- 8 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 26, at River Run Lodge in Ketchum. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, log on to http://ketchumidaho.org/ or call Joyce Allgaier, planning manager, at 726-7801.

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com




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