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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday ó February 4, 2004

Editorials

SVís height problem


The fight over the Sun Villas project in Sun Valley should be a wakeup call for the city.

Thereís something wrong with the cityís 64-foot height limit. Or, thereís something wrong with its zoning.

Residents have complained bitterly about the visual impacts of projects that loom over their neighbors, or worse, block sunlight. Sun Villas is the second project in the city in the last 10 years that has taken advantage of the cityís liberal height restrictions.

Both Ketchum and Hailey limit building heights to 35 feet, nearly half as tall.

After the city sent Sun Villas back to the drawing board to see if designers could come up with a more friendly design for its low-rise neighbors, it returned with fewer units but similar heights. The same howls of protest erupted.

The project has been seeking approval for a year and a half. That in itself should give the city a clue that itís not only Sun Villas that may have a problem.

The cityís height limit is OK for buildings with room to breathe. The Sun Valley Lodge is a classic example of a tall elegant building that doesnít seem tall because it doesnít overshadow everything around it.

The city needs to come up with a height formula that will invite the elegance of buildings like the Sun Valley Lodge and discourage cold labyrinthine boxes that no one but a numbers cruncher could love.

 

 

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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.