local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 last week
 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info

 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs

 email us:
 arts and events


Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8065 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2001 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. 


Mountain Jobs

Formula Sports


Idaho Conservation League



Gary Carr...The Carr Man!

Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

For the week of July 11 - July 17, 2001


Triumph Springs fails to woo Sun Valley P&Z

Massive written, oral opposition forces continuance

Express Staff Writer

Responding to a packed room of opponents at Sun Valley City Hall on Tuesday, the city’s planning and zoning commission took a dim view of a proposed 77-acre development at the southern entrance to Sun Valley and Ketchum.

Triumph Springs’ Peter O’Neill told the commission that the property would not look much different after it is developed than it does now.

The proposed project, Triumph Springs at Lane Ranch, borders Weyyakin on the west and Lane Ranch on the north side of Elkhorn Road.

The hearing Tuesday was to consider an application to change the city comprehensive plan’s zoning map for the 77-acre parcel from Outdoor Recreational to Rural Estate and Ranch.

After hours of listening to a presentation by representatives for the project and to public comment, the P&Z voted unanimously to continue the application at its Aug. 14 meeting.

The total parcel of Triumph Springs, which looks like a mirror image of Utah, is 166 acres, part of a 600-acre parcel that developers of Lane Ranch agreed would be kept open space as part of its annexation agreement with the city in 1986.

Lane Ranch’s developer, Cascea Associates, is one of the partners in Lane Ranch Partnership, developer of Triumph Springs.

In its application for a preliminary plat, Lane Ranch Partnership states that of the 166 acres in the property, 89 will be dedicated to the city.

Barry Luboviski, an attorney representing several Sun Valley homeowners, mocked that offer by the developer during public comment.

"The great deal of this project," he said, "is that we’re going to get 89 acres of the 166 the developer gave to the city as open space in 1986."

On the developer’s insistence that the visual impact of the project would be minimal, Luboviski said he was incredulous.

"Someone is going to put a 20,000-square-foot house up there and hide it?" he asked.

Karen Reinheimer told the commission that the developers were acting like children who wanted to change the rules in the middle of the game. Express photos by Willy Cook.

The most impassioned opposition to the project came from nearby resident Karen Reinheimer.

"In 1976, my grandmother donated 114 acres to be kept in its natural state forever," she said, referring to the farmland at the southern entrance to Ketchum.

"We have to fight to preserve and protect the scenic and pastoral character of the land at the entrance to Ketchum and Sun Valley."

Then she turned toward the representative for the Lane Ranch Partnership, Peter O’Neill, and its attorney, Evan Robertson.

"They want to change the rules to make more off this property they said would be open space," she said.

"I find it shocking they are here to change the rules in the middle of the game, at our cost."

Doug Werth, attorney for another opponent to the project, Elkhorn resident William Hardy, told the commission the project violated Sun Valley’s comprehensive plan on at least two points.

First, he said, the project would spoil an important entrance into Elkhorn. The comp plan calls for the preservation of "the natural, scenic and pastoral character of the entrances to the city."

Second, the project would allow for building on a highly visible hillside. A goal of the comp plan is to steer "future development away from steep or highly visible hillsides."

Werth said the land is properly zoned as it is, Outdoor Recreational. That allows for such things as horse stables, soccer fields, archery ranges, and ski areas.

The Triumph Springs "team" at the commission hearing. From left to right: attorney Evan Robertson, planner/designer Doug Clemens, and Peter O'Neill. Express photo by Willy Cook.

He said the P&Z would have to "gut" the comp plan to make the parcel fit the zone requested by the developer, Rural Estate and Ranch.

Testimony from the developer was limited to a presentation on where the seven building lots are located, where the street into the subdivision would go and impact on surrounding plants and wildlife.

Project attorney Robertson had more to say after public comment was over. He spoke in favor of the commission’s continuing its hearing of the application at its Aug. 14 meeting.

"We’d like to be able to respond to the oral remarks and the huge amount of written material we just received today," he said.

But before the commission voted for the continuance, Commissioner Nils Ribi chided O’Neill and Robertson.

"In all your presentation, we did not hear any compelling reason why we should amend the comprehensive plan," he said.

That, he reminded them, was why the commission was holding a public hearing.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.