local weather Click for Sun Valley, Idaho Forecast
 front page
 public meetings

 previous edition

 express jobs
 about us
 advertising info
 classifieds info
 internet info
 sun valley central
 sun valley guide
 real estate guide
 sv catalogs
Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2003 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. 

Friday — February 13, 2004


Sun Villas plan on hold

Changes requested for height, setbacks

Express Staff Writer

A representative of the proposed Sun Villas development said Wednesday that it has not been determined if the controversial 97-unit project will be redesigned.

During a special conference Wednesday, Feb. 11, with the Sun Valley Planning and Zoning Commission, attorney Evan Robertson said a final decision on whether changes to the design will be made rests with senior development managers in New York City.

The comments came after P&Z commissioners and a group of three Sun Villas representatives discussed a laundry list of concerns raised by the P&Z. Commissioners said they were primarily concerned with the impacts the project’s height and layout would have on the residents of adjacent developments.

Robertson said he would present the concerns to project managers from New York City-based Blackacre Capital Management, but could not guarantee all of the issues could be addressed "in a manner that is satisfactory to (his) client."

The special meeting was called Jan. 27 after the P&Z reviewed the project for four hours but could not muster a consensus to approve or deny the plan.

The application before the P&Z requests permission to construct four multi-story residential buildings on the so-called "Sunshine Parcel," a vacant 4.26-acre commercial-zoned property immediately north of the Elkhorn Village core.

The project—in three different configurations—has been under review by the city for about a year and half.

Blackacre first proposed a 111-unit Sun Villas development in 2002. The proposal was eventually reduced to 105 units before it was rejected by the P&Z in April 2003.

After Sun Villas representatives appealed the P&Z decision to the Sun Valley City Council, that panel voted unanimously in June 2003 to remand the development proposal back to the P&Z.

A revised project design put forth in fall 2003 was downsized to include 97 units in four buildings ranging from 53 feet to 64 feet in height.

Responding in part to a litany of objections from Elkhorn property owners, several P&Z commissioners requested Wednesday that substantial changes would have to be made to the project to earn their approval.

Commissioner Nils Ribi said he is concerned about the project’s small-scale property-line setbacks, height, bulk and impacts on view corridors.

In all, Ribi listed 11 major concerns.

"Other than that, how did you like the project?" Robertson quipped, insisting that the project has been designed in adherence to regulations for the city’s commercial-zoned properties.

However, City Attorney Rand Peebles said the zoning code does not provide guarantees to developers.

"It is not necessarily a right to go to the (maximum allowances)," Peebles said.

Commissioner Ken Herich—who has offered support for the project—vehemently defended the proposed design.

"This isn’t destroying life in Sun Valley as we know it," he said. "This is not tearing the hills up!"

Ultimately, the Sun Villas developers will have the option of modifying the project and submitting a new design or asking the P&Z to rule on the design currently under review.

Robertson said he will issue an update on the developers’ intentions at the P&Z’s Feb. 24 meeting.


City of Ketchum

Formula Sports


Edmark GM Superstore : Nampa, Idaho

Premier Resorts Sun Valley

High Country Property Rentals

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.