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For the week of Feb. 16 through Feb. 22, 2000

New Christiania gets favorable marks from P&Z

Express Staff Writer

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It was the second time the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed plans for a new Christiania commercial building, and the proposal received better marks from the commission than it did the first time around.

The new Christiania would replace the existing Christiania Motor Lodge on Sun Valley Road. The building will go on to a city design review hearing in the coming months.

The proposal is for a 51,570-square-foot building that would stand 40 feet tall at its highest. It would consist of three stories, underground parking and retail, office and residential components.

The "L" shaped building would front on both Sun Valley Road and Spruce Avenue. A parking area and underground parking access would face Fourth Street, on the inside of the "L."

The building would use the same type of sandstone used on the adjacent Colonnade building.

Though the Ketchum City Council voted last Monday to institute interim emergency regulations limiting building height to 35 feet, the Christiania was already under city review and not subjected to the interim measures.

"I was fairly critical last time around, and I’m turning 180 degrees," Commissioner Rod Sievers told developer Jack Bariteau. "You’ve done a good job working with our comments. The building height doesn’t bother me a bit. You’ve done what the ordinance was designed to achieve."

The building would include a tower element on the southeast corner, something the building’s architect, John Davis called "an icon for the project."

Bariteau said the building is a commercial project and is not intended to look otherwise.

"It’s a commercial building for sure—commercial in scale, commercial in feel. But it’s something we feel can add a lot of vitality to the downtown area," he said.

Commissioner Susan Scovell said she’s concerned the 40-foot-tall portion of the building, which is 2 percent of the entire project, is too prominent on the west side of the structure.

She also said that, combined with the Colonnade, which is on the other half of the block, the look of a "small fortress" could result.

Commissioners asked Bariteau to return to design review with precise computer renderings of how the building would fit into the downtown.


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