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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of July 23 - 29, 2003


Crown Ranch Phase 5 proposal turned back

"I believe there’s just too much building for the site."

— ANN AGNEW, Councilwoman

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley City Council members last week denied final approval of a controversial development that proposed to build 13 townhouses on a highly visible hillside parcel in Elkhorn.

In two separate votes Thursday, July 17, panel members unanimously agreed that the proposed Phase 5 of Crown Ranch subdivision should not be granted city approval.

First, council members unanimously upheld two separate appeals opposing the city Planning and Zoning Commission’s approval of the design of the project. The 3-0 vote to uphold appeals by the Crown Ranch Association and Crown Ranch resident Doug King came with Councilman Kevin Laird abstaining.

Minutes later, council members voted 3-0—again with Laird abstaining—to deny a related subdivision application to establish 13 lots on the 3.3-acre parcel.

"I believe there’s just too much building for the site," said Councilwoman Ann Agnew.

Before deciding to abstain from the votes, Laird agreed that the proposed buildings were not appropriate for the site. "They’re just too big," he said.

At issue is an application by Lane and Kristin Monroe, principals of Sun Valley-based Crown Point Development, to subdivide a 3.29-acre parcel at Crown Ranch into 13 individual lots that will each be the site of a multiple-level townhouse. The townhouses would be located between a bend in Crown Ranch Road, which branches off the southern section of Morningstar Road.

Contingent upon the approval of the subdivision, the developers proposed to build several different models of homes with living areas that range up to 3,800 square feet.

The buildings were proposed to not exceed a height of 35 feet.

Sun Valley Planning and Zoning commissioners on May 27 narrowly endorsed the project design and subdivision application with two 3-2 votes.

During his appeal, King called the project a "sea wall" of housing with buildings that would be proportionally "out of character" with others in the area.

He presented to council members a 1998 conceptual plan of the site showing buildings that would be spaced further apart than those proposed by the developer.

Jim Carkonen, property manager of Crown Ranch and a director of the Crown Ranch Homeowners Association, presented a second appeal to the council.

He said he has received numerous complaints from Crown Ranch homeowners about the proposed Phase 5 of the development. He noted that 80 percent of the homeowners in the association favored an appeal of the project.

"It’s too much. It’s too massive," he said, before noting that the homeowners want a "sweeping change" made to the project.

Representatives of the developers insisted that the conceptual map presented by King was not an official rendering of a proposal for the site. In addition, they argued that the impact of the 13 houses—the minimum allowed on the parcel under the city’s zoning code—would be acceptable compared to other possible projects for the site.

Project attorney Evan Robertson said the city’s zoning code technically allows 69 units on the residential/multi-family-zoned site. "I do believe it meets all of your requirements, and I do believe it’s compatible," he said.



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