Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sun Valley approves new laundry facility

Resort structure to replace one lost if fire

Express Staff Writer

This rendering shows the exterior design of the approved Sun Valley Resort laundry facility. Graphic courtesy of Ruscitto/Latham/Blanton Architects

Laundry for Sun Valley Resort housekeeping is headed toward being processed in a more energy-efficient manner under a new roof.

On Thursday, May 24, the Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a design review application for a laundry facility to replace Sun Valley Co.'s previous laundry warehouse, a World War II-era Quonset hut destroyed in a fire in February.

"It will be comparable in look ... [with] a lot of the same color as Sun Valley Lodge," said Nick Latham, an architect with RLB Architecture.

Latham presented plans for a 20,290-square-foot structure to be built on commercially zoned company property tucked against the hillside across Trail Creek Road from the site of the old golf course clubhouse at Hospital Road. It is currently used for parking. The space will include locker rooms offices and staging areas for housekeeping personnel and supplies.

The project is "part of making visits to Sun Valley a great experience," Latham said. "Sun Valley is really kind of notching up here. It will use less water, less chemicals and less energy."

Latham said new laundry machines will use 75 percent less water and can process twice as much laundry in half the time.

The facility will reuse water in a high-efficiency tunnel washer that will be in use when the resort is most busy. The proposed facility is also planned to include a wastewater heat recovery system.


"Cool," said Planning and Zoning Commissioner Margaret Walker, who was visibly impressed with plans for the proposed structure. "It's quite exciting."

"Best-looking laundry building I've ever seen," said Commission Chair Ken Herich.

Herich helped the commission and applicants sort out details regarding how to deal with easements for pipes for an adjacent Sun Valley Water and Sewer District storage tank in a draw uphill from the facility.

The P&Z also accounted for potential problems with an existing section of bike path that runs behind the proposed building lot. Commissioners and city staff discussed the fact that the path was built partially outside of its easement due to topographic challenges. City planners followed a recommendation from Community Development Director Mark Hofman that rectifying the path and associated easement is a bigger Sun Valley city problem separate from the laundry application and will be addressed at another time.

Walker asked to review fire suppression plans for the laundry building since fire brought about the demise of the previous facility. Herich emphasized that the building plans, in addition to including a sprinkler system, are expected to include fire suppression for dry-cleaning chemicals.

Lighting for the facility is to conform to the city's dark-sky ordinance and landscaping will help to block views of mechanical equipment planned for flat roof sections of the proposed building.

Landscape architects with Eggers Associates plan to tie in the laundry facility landscaping with ongoing Trail Creek Road landscape improvements where beetle-killed trees are currently being replaced.

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