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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.
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For the week of November 13 - 19, 2002


P&Z continues hearing on Elkhorn demolition

Express Staff Writer

Running out of time at the end of a three-hour meeting Tuesday, Sun Valley Planning and Zoning commissioners continued a public hearing on a proposal to demolish Elkhorn Resort and several adjacent buildings.

The panel voted unanimously to continue the hearing to a special meeting of the P&Z on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

At issue is a proposal by development partnership CG-Elkhorn to demolish the Elkhorn Hotel complex, former River Rock Steak House restaurant, Treat Haus snack shop, and an assortment of other small buildings in Elkhorn Village as part of a two-phase project.

Project representative Woody Bryant presented to commissioners a demolition plan that proposes to start razing several CG-Elkhorn-owned buildings in January. Once cleared, the site would be graded and planted with grass, he said.

Specifically, the plan calls for demolishing the Elkhorn Hotel and its conference center, plus the River Rock Steak House and Treat Haus buildings as the first phase of demolitionóproposed to take place from January through May of 2003.

The second phase of the demolition would be scheduled to take place in a five-month window from January through May 2005. It would include razing a short list of other buildings and facilities owned by the partnership, including the building that currently houses Sun Valley-Elkhorn Resort Realtors and the resortís old clubhouse.

Project representative David Hennessey said the proposal included plans to demolish and remove debris from the hotel and the other buildings concurrently.

He said removal of the debris from the River Rock and Treat Haus buildings would require four large trucks to haul four loads a day from the site for a period of four weeks.

The debris from the hotel itself would require four trucks to haul four loads a day for a period of eight weeks, he said.

Hennessey noted that the duration of the first phase of demolition could last up to five months, despite projections that it would only take a total of eight weeks to remove all of the debris.

He added that the plan proposed that work take place from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Commissioner Nils Ribi said the numbers suggested that approximately 1700 individual truck trips to and from the site would be needed to remove all of the debris in the first phase.

"Itís going to be close to 1700 in and out," Hennessey said.

Commissioners also expressed some concerns about truck exhaust, dust, potential stress on city roadways and the timing of the project.

Several members of the public spoke out to voice their own concerns about the plan.

"I think itís unfathomable that the City of Sun Valley would allow a demolition of this scale without knowing what is going to replace it," said Elkhorn Village Condominiums resident Mike Simmonds.

Project attorney Ned Williamson told commissioners that the landowners are "looking at" submitting a reconstruction plan for the whole parcel "after the first of the year."

P&Z commissioners in August had denied a proposal for CG-Elkhorn to start demolition last fall, in part because the developer had not submitted a master plan to redevelop the site with dozens of townhouses and condominiums.

However, the developer appealed the decision to the Sun Valley City Council, which last month remanded the matter back to P&Z, with instructions to consider an application to demolish the buildings without consideration of the redevelopment plan.



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