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Wednesday, May 5, 2004


Council appoints architect to P&Z

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum City Council members Monday, May 3, unanimously appointed Ketchum-based architect Jack Rutherford to the city Planning and Zoning Commission.

Rutherford will replace longtime P&Z Commissioner Rod Sievers, who is moving out of Ketchum. Sievers, the chairman of the five-member panel since January, has served on the P&Z since May 1998.

Jack Rutherford

The appointment brings to two the number of architects on the fast-changing P&Z Commission.

Rutherford, 50, will join architect Harold Johnson, contractor Greg Strong, volunteer fireman Ron Parsons and hair stylist Anne Corrock on the P&Z.

"Iím glad to volunteer for the position," Rutherford said. "I always think itís good to have a combination of professional people and citizens on the commission."

Harold Moniz, Ketchum planning director, concurred. He said having two architects on the commission can facilitate the review of project designs.

Rutherford has worked as a professional architect in the Wood River Valley for approximately eight years. He maintains architecture practices in Ketchum and Old Greenwich, Conn.

A professional architect for 25 years, he is married to Ketchum-based Realtor Stacey Rutherford.

Rutherford said Tuesday that he believes the city is at a critical juncture in its development.

"The decisions we make now, in terms of zoning, are going to impact the city 20 years from now," he said. "The biggest issue is going to be how the downtown develops."

Rutherford said he would like to see the city implement aspects of its comprehensive plan that could effectively foster more activity in Ketchumís center.

"Iím a big fan of people on the streets in the downtown cores," he said. "The question is how do you create a mix of uses to achieve a viable downtown area."

Rutherford will commence his three-year P&Z term at the commissionís May 10 meeting.

Rutherford will be the second new commissioner this year sworn in to serve on the panel.

Corrock in January replaced architect Peter Ripsom, who served intermittently on the P&Z since 1996.

The P&Z has been busy in recent months, especially in reviewing a spate of large residential projects proposed to the city.

For his part, Sievers has been a stern but effective chairman. Never afraid to voice his opinion, he was a staunch advocate of fairly applying the cityís ordinances.

However, in his last vote as a P&Z commissioner, Sievers surprised some in the city by supporting the Trail Creek Crossings project, a 13-unit residential project proposed to sit beside Trail Creek at the southern entrance to the city.

The project includes plans to develop a set of paths in a protected riparian zone beside the creek. Sievers had been a firm supporter of limiting encroachment into riparian zones in the city.

As for the future, the new P&Z will likely continue to be busy.

Sun Valley Co. has released plans to annex into Ketchum and develop some 160 acres of land at River Run, near the base of Bald Mountain.

In addition, the owners of the approximately 77-acre Warm Springs Ranch have stated that they intend to annex a large portion of that property into the city before issuing plans to develop strategically located areas.


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