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For the week of Apr. 19 through Apr. 25, 2000

Key hearings

Any resident concerned about sprawl should attend two hearings slated this week and next.

Tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. at the old Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey, the county planning and zoning commission will take up a request by St. Luke’s Hospital to build a 40,000-square-foot office building south of Ketchum. The P&Z will also consider St. Luke’s request to be relieved of its responsibility to pay for construction of a five-lane stretch of highway at the site.

Next week, on Thursday, April 27, at 5:30 p.m. at Ketchum City Hall, the Ketchum City Council will hold a public hearing on a six-month extension of an emergency moratorium that reduces the size of any new buildings that may be built downtown.

It’s important for residents to show up and be heard. The decisions to be made may have far-reaching effects on development in the valley.

An office building outside city limits could open the county to ugly sprawl. Reduction of building sizes in Ketchum will build pressure for more sprawl.

The Ketchum Council sprang its emergency moratorium on a surprised public in early February. The council allowed the moratorium to be slipped onto its agenda at the last minute with virtually no notice to the public.

The council has never faced the public on the issue. Instead, it left it to the P&Z to face a packed hearing room when it considered a draft of a new comprehensive plan that calls for similar reductions.

The valley’s future depends on active participation by residents. The hearings are opportunities that shouldn’t be missed.


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