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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, June 16, 2004


The Timbers, a 16-unit condominium project proposed for a Tourist-zoned lot at 500 South Main St., would replace the Devilís Bedstead building, an eclectic retail and office structure at the southern entrance to Ketchum. Graphic by Michael Doty Associates

Timbers poised to be planted

Project would replace Devilís Bedstead building

Express Staff Writer

It appears the days are numbered for the Devilís Bedstead building, the rustic, wooden structure at the southern entrance to Ketchum.

Ketchum Planning and Zoning commissioners on Monday, June 14, indicated they are likely to approve later this month a proposed 16-unit condominium complex designed to replace the eclectic retail and office building.

At issue Monday was a revised design for a project called The Timbers, an approximately 30,000-square-foot set of buildings proposed for the high-profile Devilís Bedstead lot at 500 South Main St.

The revised proposal was issued to the city after the development group, Sawtooth Development, withdrew a previous project application in February because a large contingent of neighbors vociferously opposed the plan.

The developer had initially proposed to remove the Devilís Bedstead building and develop the site with a 24-unit, 47,000-square-foot development with a courtyard, underground parking and a swimming pool.

As proposed, the project would have included 22 for-sale condominium units and two deed-restricted community housing units.

As part of their application, the developers requested that the entire Devilís Bedstead parcelówhich is split among the cityís Tourist zoning district and Limited Residential districtóbe rezoned into the General Residential-High Density district.

The rezone was proposed to be part of an agreement that stipulated the zoning change would be specifically tied to the proposed development.

Neighbors vigorously opposed the rezone plan and some threatened litigation if the city approved the application.

The groupís revised plan calls for four residential structures, a 32-stall underground parking garage and a small lap pool, all of which would be located on the western, Tourist-zoned portion of the parcel. The developer has received city approval for a plan to establish two LR-zoned lots on the rear, eastern portion of the property.

The proposed buildings would reach a maximum height of approximately 34 feet.

Commissioners Monday issued several favorable comments about the plan but lamented the fact that no affordable housing units are included.

"I wish there was some community housing in it," Commissioner Harold Johnson said. "We need the locals here."

Ketchum resident Mickey Garcia agreed, reiterating his long-standing concerns that the city is allowing numerous large developments to be approved without procuring any substantial gains in community housing. He said an over-abundance of second homes in the city could ultimately drive out most working-class residents.

"This is another little block of what Ketchum is becoming," Garcia said. "The true character of Ketchum is gradually changing Ö Itís lights out and soon everyoneís commuting to Shoshone."

The developers told the P&Z that the project is designed to include a mix of units, some of which might be appealing to potential full-time residents.

The P&Z will review the project again on Monday, June 28.


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