For the week of June 3 thru June 9, 1998  


Plans for Warm Springs development embrace community

Design to be discussed at open meeting June 22

Express Staff Writer

Saying they had addressed the "lion’s share" of residents’ concerns, developers Garth Schlemlein and Mark Dean of Seattle-based Sawtooth Development submitted a revised proposal to the Ketchum Planning Commission last Friday for their housing development on Warm Springs Road between Flower Drive and Four Seasons Way.

Most significantly, the new proposal for what is now called The Fields at Warm Springs reduces the density of the development from 54 units to 44 units. What were proposed rental condominiums will now be owner-occupied, and 17 of these -- 39 percent -- will be designated affordable housing units.

The Ketchum City Council will consider a conditional use permit application at an open hearing on June 22.

Ketchum architect Dale Bates’ blueprints for the project feature seven buildings that enclose a central courtyard. Basing his plans on neighborhood meetings and a book entitled Housing as if People Mattered, Bates hopes his design will inspire a sense of community and change the stereotype of "affordable housing."

"I’ve lived here for 20 years and community is the most important thing," Bates said. "We need to have teachers living next to firefighters and lawyers."

Bates said his plan was to have each building seem like a single-family home; none of the buildings are larger than those of the neighboring Four Seasons condominiums.

Four buildings of 5,500 square feet will contain five separate condominiums each, of which two to three will be designated affordable housing.

Three denser buildings of 9,200 square feet will house eight condominiums each, of which two will be for affordable housing. These larger buildings will be higher in elevation and will be set back from the road, overlooking the four smaller buildings.

Bates’ design also features a children’s playground, a paved barbecue area, a co-op garden, a KART bus stop with a shelter and bench, and a community building that includes an outdoor hot tub.

Furthermore, the development’s 72 parking spaces will be split among the north, east and west sides, providing a buffer between existing residences and future residences on the remainder of the lot. No parking will exist along Warm Springs Road, leaving room for significant landscaping.

If the proposal is accepted, it will be the first development to meet the city’s affordable housing standards, recently adopted as part of the planned unit development ordinance. Because more than 30 percent of the units at The Fields at Warm Springs would be set aside for affordable housing, the city will waive its density requirements, allowing the project to be built on 2.2 acres, instead of a minimum of three acres.

Under Ketchum’s Housing Guidelines, the two-bedroom affordable housing units can be priced no higher than $140,123, about half of what the remaining market-based units would sell for, said Ketchum housing coordinator Karl Fulmer.

Bates said hopes to begin construction on four of the buildings in the fall of 1998 and on the remaining three in the spring of 1999.


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