21-02-17  Warm Springs Ranch 2  Roland WF.jpg

The Warm Springs Ranch property extends as a large expanse of open space along the lower flanks of Bald Mountain. Warm Springs Creek divides the 78-acre site in Ketchum.

The Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday, Feb. 23, will commence its review of a plan to establish 36 home lots on Warm Springs Ranch and preserve most of the 78-acre property northwest of downtown as a public preserve.

Sun Valley developer Bob Brennan is seeking approval of an application to develop a 14-acre parcel on the north side of the property and—eventually—to sell the remaining 64 acres to the city to be preserved as a park and natural area with public access. Brennan and the city have drafted an “option agreement” for the city to buy the undeveloped 64 acres below the flanks of Bald Mountain for $9 million, with a condition that the property be “used as a passive park for open space.”

The application calls for 36 single-family home lots, new roadways for homeowner access and 12 to 20 parking spaces for citizens, who could use a bridge to cross Warm Springs Creek and access the 64 acres south of the waterway.

The option to purchase the 64 acres from Brennan is linked to approval of his plan to develop the 36 lots on the north side of Warm Springs Creek. Brennan has said he will sign the option agreement after his subdivision application is approved. According to the option agreement, the city would have six months from the date of signing a development agreement for the 14 acres with Brennan to exercise the option and complete the deal.

The city has said it will seek to raise funds from private donors and nonprofit organizations. If the sale is not completed, the zoning of the seven parcels that compose the 64 acres would remain as Tourist and Recreational Use and Brennan would have the option to submit new applications to develop the area. Brennan has said it is his preference to sell the land to the city for public use.

City staff has recommended approval of the project to the P&Z. The P&Z will make a recommendation to the City Council, which will make the final decision on Brennan’s application.

The P&Z meeting starts at 4:30 p.m.

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