Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sun Valley OKs Lane Ranch North

4-lot development finally gets green light


Lane Ranch North project representatives got the go-ahead from the Sun Valley City Council Monday in a 2-1 vote, with Councilman Nils Ribi dissenting.

Ponascea LLC is planning a four-lot development east of Weyyakin subdivision, bordered on the south by Elkhorn Road and the Lane Ranch subdivision.

The area is designated a "special site" in the city's comprehensive plan and in its development code, which regulates impacts to special sites. A city staff report states that the land was so designated because it has significant slopes, knolls, ridges and wildlife habitat.

Project representatives have said they took care to plan the development to preserve the area's natural features while minimizing visual and wildlife impacts.

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"The council must give special consideration to the special site designation and listed criteria, then decide if the project design meets or satisfies the lot design regulations, specifically ... regarding skylining and ridgeline development," Mark Hofman, community development director, told the Idaho Mountain Express earlier this month.

At the meeting, Councilman Nils Ribi said he felt that only two of the four lots were sufficiently preserved.

"I've carefully reviewed the applicant's latest revision to lots 1 and 2," Ribi said. "The buildable area within the building envelopes they're proposing still straddles the visible, natural ridgeline contours and will require scarring of those ridgelines, and therefore does not meet the requirements of city code."

Councilman Bob Youngman disagreed with Ribi's interpretation of the code.

"Have I been convinced that the applicant has given special consideration? Yes, I would have to answer yes to that," he said.

He cited the applicant's multiple modifications done at the council's request, resulting in minimal visual impact from the road.

"We have difficulty interpreting, I think, this 'special consideration' term," Youngman said. But, he added, "that's part of the reason we sit up here [on the council]. We have to do that."

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com

History of the project, the process

To learn about the Lane Ranch North project, the applications, the public benefits and the public comments—including support and concern—type "Lane Ranch North" into the search field at mtexpress.com.




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