For the week of November 11 thru November 17, 1998  

Swiss cheese

Ketchum’s proposed new comprehensive plan looks like Swiss cheese. It’s full of holes. That’s fine for cheeses, but not for a plan that will govern city development.

The Idaho Planning Act requires plans to contain complete analyses in 12 areas including population, economic development, land use, natural resources, hazardous areas, public services, transportation, recreation, special areas, housing community design and implementation.

The plan now in public hearings before the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission dispenses with the legal requirement with this flip statement, "The organization of this plan reflects the city’s unique geography, rather than an arbitrary list of components." It then tries to cover up the apparently conscious neglect by making a list of the components and claiming they are covered.

Trying to build a plan without analysis and the required components is like building a house without a foundation. The document is a wish list, not a plan. It wishes the city had more parking. It wishes buildings didn’t age, and that property prices hadn’t skyrocketed. It wishes new owners who pay big bucks for commercial property would not develop at higher densities, particularly at the entrance to town. It wishes tourism had nothing to do with town planning.

Unbelievably, the plan left out any consideration of the mountain access at Warm Springs, a major tourist and commercial area.

The P&Z ought to stop consideration of the plan now and go back to the drawing board.


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