Ketchum from Baldy

Downtown Ketchum has seen “accelerated development” in recent years, according to the city.

The new slate of rules designed to steer the rapid development of downtown Ketchum passed the city council on Monday, months after a similar package was rejected as an emergency ordinance last spring.

The first of three readings of Ordinance 1234 signal the city’s efforts to increase “residential density and vibrancy” in the parts of the downtown core, according to city officials. The ordinance is a response to recent building trends in the downtown core that critics say do not meet the city’s goals of dense, mixed-use buildings with community housing and ground-level retail or restaurant space.

The ordinance has five provisions: establishing minimum residential density standards; limiting the ability to consolidate lots; prohibiting net loss of units; adding retail and office parking exemptions; and enacting various rules aimed at making sure designs “conform with the comprehensive plan,” according to a presentation by Ketchum Senior Planner Morgan Landers. The fifth provision would allow the city to regulate minimum amount of commercial square footage in mixed-use projects, maximum size of individual residential units, limitations on exceeding parking minimums (except for public or community housing parking) and ban below-grade community housing units.

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