For the week of June 30, 1999  thru July 6, 1999  

Ketchum P&Z talks annexation for McHanville

Critical decisions pending

Express Staff Writer

The Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission continues to wrestle with planning alternatives for McHanville, and will address the issue again at its next meeting July 12.

Blaine County, Ketchum, the city of Sun Valley and the Sun Valley Water and Sewer District have hastily begun discussing the planning of the area in response to the new St. Luke’s Hospital construction there.

Ketchum must decide whether to annex the area and choose appropriate zoning, or allow it to remain under county control but offer advice for the county to consider in its planning there.

The P&Z will make recommendations to the Ketchum City Council late in July or early in August. Meanwhile, the city’s staff is compiling information the commission will use to help make its recommendations.

The P&Z addressed the issue at a Monday evening meeting at Ketchum City Hall, and the commissioners, at this point seem to be pro-annexation.

Ketchum planning administrator Lisa Majdiak said at Monday’s meeting that during a meeting between the four governing districts last Thursday, representatives from Blaine County told Ketchum staff and officials that the city should either annex the area or mind its own business.

The hospital would like the area planned to accommodate uses that would be complementary to the hospital, such as doctors’ offices. The city of Ketchum has recognized the hospital’s need to expand but does not want to lose the affordable and semi-affordable housing in the area.

Ketchum senior planner Tory Canfield compiled information on how a possible hospital overlay zone in McHanville could work, either under Ketchum’s or Blaine County’s jurisdiction.

An 80 percent residential and 20 percent commercial mix illustrates "typical urban development," Majdiak said.

Under that scenario, taking into account the typical size doctor’s office found in Ketchum, 42 offices would be made available, and about 20 housing units, under the area’s current zoning, R-.4, would be preserved.

Canfield’s report points out that were the housing areas zoned GR-H (1 unit per 2,000 square feet), 170 housing units would be formed.

Commissioner Rod Sievers agreed with the county that Ketchum should either annex the area or step down.

"It’s a logical extension of the city, and if we want control of it, we need to step up to the plate," he said.

But at the conclusion of the meeting, the city’s officials and staff said they would want to comment on the area’s planning even if it is not annexed because of its proximity to the city and the possibility that it could compete with Ketchum’s downtown.

The commissioners agreed that the mix presented by Canfield may not be what is best for the area, but provides a good starting point.

The city’s staff will provide more complete information on possible planning scenarios at the July 12 meeting.


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