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The Lewis-Lemon General Store building on Main Street in Ketchum, built in 1887, is now the headquarters of the Sun Valley Culinary Institute. It was included on a list of structures identified for historical value in an ordinance approved by the City Council in January.

The city of Ketchum is moving forward in its plans to protect some older and culturally significant buildings in the downtown core.

City Council members on Monday approved a contract with consultant Logan Simpson Design to lead the city in Phase 2 of its plan, set to occur over the next year. The cost of services is not to exceed $80,000.

The City Council also approved appointment of five people to serve on the city’s new Historic Preservation Commission. The approved members are residents Wendolyn Holland, Rick Reynolds and Jakob Galczynski, as well as Planning and Zoning Commissioners Mattie Mead and Jennifer Cosgrove.

“All have a passion for preservation,” Mayor Neil Bradshaw said.

Last October, the city enacted a 90-day emergency ordinance that banned the demolition of any buildings on a composed list of historical structures in the city. The emergency ordinance was enacted after concerns were raised at City Hall that some historical properties were targeted for sale or redevelopment.

Before the expiration of that ordinance on Jan. 17, the City Council voted to enact an interim, one-year ordinance intended to move the plan through the next phase, with the ultimate goal of developing a more detailed permanent ordinance intended to protect some buildings. Elements of the interim ordinance include: establishing a list of 26 properties as historically significant and qualified for special city review; establishing an application process, review process and review criteria for proposed exterior alterations or demolition of buildings on the list; establishing and appointing members of a five-member Historic Preservation Commission to govern the review processes; and establishing maintenance standards for buildings on the list.

Staff of Logan Simpson—which has offices across the West—will work to guide the city in launching the Historic Preservation Commission and its processes, as well drafting new design guidelines for development in the downtown core and drafting language for a permanent ordinance.

The first priority of the new Historic Preservation Commission will be to review and refine the list of structures. The panel will have the authority to add or subtract properties from the list, which will likely evolve over time, city officials have said. The existing list was created with the assistance of Logan Simpson.

The review processes for the structures identified on the city’s list are planned to be conducted in addition to the city’s established review processes for development in the Community Core zoning district, which covers the downtown area.

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