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Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Sun Valley to unveil master plan

Public meeting scheduled for April 6

Express Staff Writer

In a long-awaited presentation, Sun Valley Co. officials on Tuesday, April 6, will unveil the company’s master development plan for the next 40 to 50 years.

The public meeting—technically a special meeting of the Sun Valley City Council—is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. in the Limelight Room convention center at the Sun Valley Inn.

The River Run base area of Bald Mountain, southwest of downtown Ketchum, could be developed with new commercial and residential projects as part of a long-term master plan being proposed by Sun Valley Co. Much of the area is currently used for parking. Express photo by Willy Cook

Sun Valley Co. officials will conduct an approximately 45-minute presentation of the plan, followed by an approximately one-hour public question-and-answer session.

Residents of Sun Valley and the surrounding area have been encouraged to attend.

"The plan is forward looking and exciting," said Sun Valley Mayor Jon Thorson. "However, there are a few areas earmarked for potential development that I consider ‘sacred ground.’"

Thorson said he believes it is important for the public to understand what the city’s largest landowner is planning, particularly because the city is preparing to update its comprehensive plan.

Ron LeBlanc, Ketchum city administrator, said he and other senior Ketchum officials had recently viewed the plan in individual briefings conducted by the company.

However, a meeting to present the master plan in Ketchum has not been scheduled.

Sun Valley Co. in 2003 completed a detailed master plan for its expansive property holdings in the Sun Valley area. The plan was exhibited last summer to numerous elected officials in Ketchum and Sun Valley.

However, Sun Valley Co. officials last year canceled a public presentation of the plan after they decided a series of changes and refinements were necessary.

Sun Valley Co. owns approximately 2,600 acres of land in and around Sun Valley, and has considerable lease holdings of U.S. Forest Service land on Bald Mountain, west of Ketchum.

The master plan is being prepared by Design Workshop, a renowned resort-planning firm with offices in Denver, Park City, Utah, and Jackson, Wyo.

The plan reportedly calls for extensive development of the River Run base area of Bald Mountain, where the company owns approximately 130 acres of land governed by Blaine County. Ketchum city officials are expecting Sun Valley Co. to eventually file an application to annex the land into Ketchum.

It also calls for new residential and commercial development in Sun Valley, city officials have noted.

The city of Sun Valley is expected to cooperate with Sun Valley Co. throughout 2004 to incorporate individual elements of the master plan into a new, updated comprehensive plan for the city.

Sun Valley Co., like all landowners, will be required in the future to gain approval for individual development projects it proposes.


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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.