For the week of July 15 thru July 21, 1998  

Despite pleas, huge home is approved

Express Staff Writer

Should an almost 9,400- square-foot home, including an accessory dwelling unit, be built on a lot that is one-third of an acre?

Neighbors of the proposed home of Alex and Charlie Morse on Parkway Drive told the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission Monday night that the sheer size of such a home compromised the family feeling of the street.

"When we bought our house 10 years ago, what attracted us to the area was that it was family-like--understated," said neighbor Katherine Donald. "When you have 9,700 square feet on one-third of an acre, I don’t know how you can do something understated."

The home needed design review from the P&Z only because it was in the riparian zone along the river. The P&Z voted 4-0, with one member recused, to approve the design.

The P&Z also approved the proposed accessory dwelling unit for the lot, which will be a caretaker’s unit above a detached garage.

This is the first such unit to be approved by the P&Z since a new ordinance required design review for all accessory units.

"I feel they have come forth with the requirements for zoning and for the ADU," said P&Z member Susan Scovell. "You’ve done the best job you can for that design."


To break up the gray cinderblock of the 47-foot-high wall on the east side of her gallery, Turpen’s Trading Post woner Corby Turpen wanted to add a 12-by-12 design.

The design featured two baskets, like those sold in her gallery, painted onto a piece of plywood.

But was it a sign, or was it art? Under Ketchum’s sign ordinances, signs are only permitted on the front of buildings. No murals currently exist in town on the side of buildings.

The P&Z decided 4-0, with one member absent, that because the mural would ultimately attract attention to the building, it would meet the definition of a sign and would be prohibited.

"If it were painted on the building, I could see it as a mural or art," said P&Z chair Peter Ripsom, "but this is a detachable sign."


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