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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 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. 

For the week of October 9 - 15, 2002


County proposes McHanville rezone

Ketchum to investigate proposal

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum City Council members Monday expressed their surprise at a proposed county rezoning of the McHanville area that would allow further development of "medically related uses" as well as affordable housing.

Ketchum officials dissented when Blaine County approved St. Luke’s Wood River Medical Center’s medical office building, now nearing completion. Ketchum said the building would draw doctors and medically related businesses away from Ketchum, Hailey and Bellevue.

Their concerns with the proposed Urban Residential and Health Services District amendment mirror prior concerns with the medical office building that allowing businesses to locate in McHanville will detract from the vibrancy of the Wood River Valley’s cities.

Also, pointed out Councilman Randy Hall, businesses and housing in the McHanville area will probably require Ketchum services.

McHanville is in Ketchum’s area of city impact, which means Ketchum officials have declared an official interest in planning issues there.

The McHanville area is zoned R-4, medium density residential.

The rezone would create a district, "which favors high density residential uses…provides for limited medically related uses…provides for a developer of non-residential development to satisfy community housing obligations" and allows existing non-conforming uses to continue. The rezoning would affect a large lot owned by St. Luke’s and neighboring existing facilities and the island of properties between Highway 75 and Hospital Drive.

A list of uses that would be permitted in the new zone is dominated by the medical industry: hospital additions, medical ambulance facility, medical office building, day care facility, assisted living facility, extended care facility and adult care facility and residential uses.

The change would "encourage the combining of smaller lots with larger lots to create a more efficient use of the land" and "reduce certain setbacks to allow greater flexibility in site design to achieve higher density and community housing goals," according to a draft of the change.

"The impacts to the city (of Ketchum) would be tremendous," Ketchum’s acting planning administrator, Harold Moniz, said. "They’re proposing to allow more medical offices. To me, that’s ludicrous. They’re going to start pulling doctors away from the core here."

The Blaine County Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to consider the Urban Residential and Health Services District Text Amendment on Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in the Old County Courthouse.

The Ketchum City Council scheduled a visit to McHanville for Friday at 2 p.m. and another meeting on the topic for Oct. 16 at noon at Ketchum City Hall.

"From that, I’m sure we’ll draft a formal response," Moniz said.

Blaine County Planning Administrator Linda Haavik was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.



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