The Ketchum City Council listened to a proposal for a new farmers market on Monday night.
The market could be city-sponsored and would only include food and drink vendors, according to proponent Christina Giordani.
The existing Wood River Farmers’ Markets announced in March that it would move its Ketchum market to the River Run area, after it was forced to relocate from its traditional home on Fourth Street. The market relocated to Town Square temporarily, but city officials and Mayor Neil Bradshaw said that prompted concerns and complaints from neighboring business owners.
On Monday, Bradshaw said the new market would include vendors from the existing market.
It could be set up for a test-run this summer, for four to six weeks during July and August. It would not be held on Tuesdays, which is the date for the existing market. Giordani said Saturdays or Mondays are possibilities.
The council did not vote to approve the proposal Monday. Rather, the criteria for the new market will be brought up again at a future council meeting.
Giordani said the new market would not include any arts and crafts vendors, but would feature local producers of vegetables, grains, foods and beverages.
“We are in a bit of a food desert up here,” she said. “There’s potential for people to be at both markets.”
Councilman Jim Slanetz expressed apprehension at the proposal, because he didn’t know how it would affect the existing market. He also said the council had been shut out of the process of determining a new location for the existing market, which began last fall.
“I don’t know what the relationship to the existing farmers market is,” he said. “I don’t want to pick teams. I need way more information on it. As a council, we’ve been left out of the process up to the farmers market moving.”
Bradshaw said he believed two markets could co-exist in Ketchum.
“This is not trying to step on any toes,” he said.
Councilwoman Amanda Breen said the farmers market in Boise splintered into two, and both have managed to succeed.
“As far as I can tell, they’ve co-existed well,” Breen said.
Councilwoman Courtney Hamilton said she didn’t want a city-managed market to compete against another enterprise, and was concerned about how that would burden the workload for the city’s special events staff member.
“That, to me, looks like the city competing against another organization,” Hamilton said. “I would love to see this happen. I would love to see this be positive for everyone involved.”
Councilman Michael David said losing the market from downtown Ketchum hurts, and he wanted to ensure that the new market would not conflict with the existing one.
“As long as it’s complementing rather than conflicting,” David said.
On Monday, the council opted to delay voting on the first reading of an ordinance that would implement a suite of zoning and land-use changes to the city’s three light-industrial districts.
One major feature of the proposed changes includes permitting building heights up to four stories and 48 feet. Under current code, building heights in the districts are capped at 35 feet.
By allowing a developer to go up to four stories, the proposed ordinance provides an incentive for workforce housing. If the project includes residential, two-thirds of that must be deed-restricted affordable rentals.
Bob Crosby, government affairs director for the Sun Valley Board of Realtors, said the ordinance maintained a requirement that residential developments have to build one parking space per bedroom. He said that was too onerous and would force developers to include underground parking, thus making the projects financially unfeasible. He encouraged buildings up to five stories and permitting developers to include for-sale residential units.