Back to Home Page

Local Links
Sun Valley Guide
Hemingway in Sun Valley
Real Estate

For the week of Oct. 13, 1999 through Oct. 19, 1999

Ketchum P&Z approves new Sun Valley Road building

Louie’s could have new home

Express Staff Writer

As the old cliché goes, the third time’s the charm—sometimes even for a visit to the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission.

In a rare split decision, the Ketchum P&Z voted at its regular meeting Monday night to approve architect Dates Fryberger’s designs for a 33,000-square-foot, two-story commercial building in downtown Ketchum on Sun Valley Road. The building would accommodate retail space on the first floor and offices on the second.

The lot is behind the Roosevelt Brewhouse and Grill and adjacent to the McCann, Daech, Fenton real estate offices. It is owned and proposed to be developed by Ketchum residents Carolyn and Bing Olbum.

Commissioners Susan Scovell and Peter Gray voted against the project’s approval, and Baird Gourlay and Rod Sievers voted for approval. P&Z chairman Peter Ripsom split the tie by voting in favor of the project.

It was Fryberger’s third visit to the P&Z. On prior visits, the commissioners asked him to tone down the building’s alleged urban character and bulk.

Gourlay liked the revisions presented Monday night, which included a brick, stucco-style architecture with moderate undulation.

"I think it went from a ‘C’ to a solid ‘A,’" he said.

But for Scovell, the building’s visual size was still too much.

"The building still reads too bulky," she said.

Attorney Ed Lawson, who was at the meeting representing the Olbums, said the P&Z is taking too much liberty in the design review process.

"There’s nothing in your guidelines about bulk or materials," he said. "It (the commission’s recommendations) borders on censorship.

"If you don’t want something in this city, there should be clear guidelines set up by the city for architectural style."


In another matter, the Louie’s building on the corner of Sun Valley Road and Leadville Avenue may have a new home.

The P&Z unanimously voted to support efforts to relocate the Louie’s building to a city-owned parking area at the south end of East Avenue. The city council’s approval will be needed for such arrangements to come to fruition.

On Sept. 27, Louie’s owner, Louie Mallane filed with Ketchum’s planning department for a demolition permit. Though efforts to save the building were underway for several months, the filing of the permit precipitated a new wave of local concern.

Built in 1884 or 1881 (there is some discrepancy about the building’s construction date), the structure first served as a Congregational Church and later became an Episcopal Church before it was transformed to Louie’s.

The commission voted to "heartily support" efforts to relocate the building. However, there was no discussion about what the building might be used for.

Ketchum/Sun Valley Heritage and Ski Museum president Dick Meyers said in an interview he will go to the city council in the hope of obtaining approval if the relocation will work.

If moved there, the building would be used as a multi-purpose community building.

The Ketchum City Council meets Monday at 6 p.m. at Ketchum City Hall on Monday, Oct. 18. This issue, however, was still not on the agenda at press time.

Myers said the ski and heritage museum would like the arrangements, if they are approved, to be permanent.


Back to Front Page
Copyright © 1999 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.