Ski View Lodge next to go?
In ongoing trend, affordable housing
would give way to luxury units development
By GREGORY FOLEY
Express Staff Writer
The colorful cabins that for decades have
been the centerpiece of the Ski View Lodge in Ketchum boast unrivaled vistas of
Trail Creek and Bald Mountain.
The colorful cabins that for decades
were operated as the Ski View Lodge on South Main Street in Ketchum are
scheduled to be relocated to make room on the site for a planned 20-unit
townhouse project. Express photo by Willy Cook
Under a plan issued to the Ketchum
Planning and Zoning Commission this week, the 1950s-era cabins are set to be
removed from their Main Street site so the future owners of 20 luxury townhouses
might enjoy those same views.
The tentative plan to redevelop the Ski
View Lodge site at 409 South Main Street—at the southern entrance to the
city—was put forth Monday, July 26, in a so-called pre-application design-review
hearing. The hearing allowed the developer, called Ski View Development, to
gauge reaction to the proposed plan before filing a formal application to
The development plan proposed Monday calls
for moving the majority of the old-fashioned cabins from the approximately
1.5-acre site and building 20 townhouses that reach a maximum height of 30 to 35
feet. As proposed, the townhouses would be divided among two duplexes, two
triplexes and two five-plexes that step down the sloping property toward Trail
The development, called Ski View
Townhouses, is planned to include approximately 37,000 square feet of new
The development plan calls for allowing
the cabins to be relocated within the Wood River Valley by interested parties.
In addition, a designated 25-foot riparian-zone setback from Trail Creek would
be restored with native vegetation after some cottonwood trees are removed.
Commissioner Jack Rutherford said he
believes "substantial restoration" of the riparian zone is necessary.
Commissioner Harold Johnson concurred,
noting that he wants the development to discourage excessive use of the
protected areas adjacent to Trail Creek.
"We’re just trying to keep it natural," he
Christopher Simms, executive director of
Citizens for Smart Growth, said he is concerned the proposed development would
effectively reduce the stock of affordable housing in Ketchum and would prompt
the loss of numerous historic structures.
The Ski View Lodge site in recent years
has been operated as long-term rentals that are considered affordable—not as a
Simms requested that the city ask the
developer to include a community-housing component in their proposal.
"It’s all community housing right now," he
said. "I would urge these folks to give us one back, at least."
The plan to redevelop the Ski View site
comes after plans were approved last year to redevelop the sites of the Bald
Mountain Lodge and the Heidelberg Inn, both of which were motels that were
ultimately converted to lower-cost housing.
The Ski View Townhouses proposal will
likely be revised by the developer before being formally submitted to the city.