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For the week of Dec. 15, 1999 through Dec. 21, 1999

Commission asks for revised plans from Christiania developer

Express Staff Writer

A proposal from a California developer to build a massive new building in place of the Christiania Lodge, on Sun Valley Road, was met by the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission with resistance Monday night.

Underground parking deficiencies, inadequate refuse pick-up arrangements and the demolition of a large conifer were among the commission’s concerns.

Jack Baritow, the project’s developer, presented the plans to the commission.

The building is three stories high, towering to 40 feet, five feet above Ketchum’s height limit. However, by city ordinance, buildings can be built to 40 feet in exchange for underground parking, which Baritow intends to do.

Baritow explained that the new 51,570-square-foot building will use architectural elements from the neighboring Colonnade, which Barotow also developed. He said his success with the Colonnade sparked the vision for the new Christiania.

"The buildings aren’t going to be the same, but we’re trying to take the most successful elements from the Colonnade and use them in the Christiania," Baritow told the commission.

Recessed store fronts, Boise sandstone, and undulation of the top floors are among those elements, he said.

Also, the sidewalks would consist of the same heated pavers and landscaping that the Colonnade uses.

Baritow said he is ready to move very quickly on the project, tearing down the existing Christiania Lodge in April or May if the commission’s go-ahead is granted.

On this go-around, the go-ahead was elusive, however.

The commissioners agreed with one another on most of their individual sentiments.

"I’m opposed to using the same look on the entire block," Commissioner Peter Gray said.

And the tree on the corner of Sun Valley Road and Walnut Avenue is something the commissioners want to save. Baritow said, on the other hand, that saving the tree is impossible.

"We’re not going to be able to design around it," he said.

The commissioners also pointed out that in order to exchange underground parking for the increased height allowance, somewhere between 39 and 42 underground parking spaces are needed, a figure that is calculated based on the building’s floor area. Baritow’s initial plans propose 26 underground parking spaces.

"You’ve done a good job, and I’m sure you’ll come back with a lot of these things addressed," commissioner Peter Ripsom told Baritow.

Monday’s cursory look at the Christiania plans were part of the city’s pre-application design review process, in which applicants present plans and receive feedback from the commission.

The commission will not vote on the proposal until the design review forum at a to-be-scheduled date.


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