Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ketchum comp plan passes muster

Planning document moving ahead to City Council


By ERIC AVISSAR
Express Staff Writer

The Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday unanimously passed a proposed update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan, ratifying a document that will likely help shape the city’s future.
With the P&Z ratifying the 70-page document, the City Council will now hold public hearings before considering final approval of the plan.
City Planning Manager Joyce Allgaier said there were many people involved that helped over the year-and-a-half-long process that went into writing the policy guide for the city’s future. The Comprehensive Plan is not binding but does set forth a set of guiding principles for future development in the city. It is typically updated about every 10 years.
“I’m excited we’re at this juncture in the process because a lot of hard work has gone into it on behalf of the Planning and Zoning Commission and I want to credit a lot of citizens for actively participating,” Allgaier said. “Their perspective about Ketchum is very much reflected in the document. This is really a unique document of clear values and issues facing the community. It is really straightforward and actionable.”
Allgaier said she feels two of the biggest differences with the Comprehensive Plan being discussed and the last one that was passed in 2001 are the focuses on environmental sustainability and the need for more affordable housing.
“I think one of the things that the plan does is realize that it takes a community to help, and everyone in the city can help implement our vision,” she said. “This document really encourages us to beef up our economy, to diversify it and encourage a year-round community to live here.


We’re going to make this a living document.”
Rich Fabiano
Ketchum P&Z co-chair



It will make for a better all-around community in terms of economic sustainability going forward.”
The Comprehensive Plan also has 10 core community values that describe the values of Ketchum citizens to help shape future growth in the city. Allgaier said she believes the three most important ones are a strong and diverse economy, community character and respect and protection of the environment.
P&Z Co-chair Rich Fabiano said he wants the Comprehensive Plan looked at more closely in the future and wants to see it updated more frequently.
“We’re going to make this a living document,” Fabiano said. “What we’ve been talking about is reviewing this every couple of years instead of totally throwing out the old one every 10 years. Instead of doing that, we’ll continually update it as needed.”
    Allgaier echoed Fabiano’s sentiments.
    “We want to keep it a living document so it can be used every budget year,” she said. “There are a lot of implementation actions in the plan that should be looked at when budgets are prepared. There’s no reason why we can’t amend it every two or three years. We want to keep it current, and to keep it working, since a lot of hard work went into this over the past year and a half.”
    She also said she feels the Ketchum City Council will keep taking the plan into consideration as a guide to shaping the city’s future, especially after the successful joint meetings between the City Council and the P&Z to work on the plan.
    “We had some great work sessions, and it really brought out the leadership together on the Comprehensive Plan,” she said. “… I really think it will be a great guide for how the city will implement its plans for the future.”
Eric Avissar: eavissar@mtexpress.com




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