19-01-16 KETCH II @.jpg

An 18-unit apartment complex has been proposed for the southeast corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street in Ketchum.

A developer from Portland, Ore., wants to build a second apartment complex in Ketchum, and it will look a lot like his first project.

Mark Madden, owner of WDC Properties, proposed and received city approval in June to construct a two-story, 18-unit apartment complex at First Avenue and Sixth Street. The project, called KETCH, will take up the southern half of the property and is expected to break ground in 2019.

As an encore, Madden is proposing to build a three-story, 18-unit apartment complex called KETCH II on the northern half of the property, on the southeast corner of the intersection.

The Planning and Zoning Commission considered his pre-application for design review on Monday night, and voted 5-0 to advance the project to a full design review with the city. If it’s approved quickly, the developer aims to break ground on KETCH II this year, as well.

Neither project will have on-site parking, thanks to a change to the city’s parking ordinance that the City Council approved in 2017. It exempted residential units under 750 square feet from providing on-site parking, and KETCH II would feature units 422 square feet to 648 square feet.

It would include nine two-bedroom units, six one-bedroom units and three studios, as well as a ground-floor retail storefront on the corner of Sixth Street and First Avenue. Architect Gene Bolante, of Studio 3 Architecture, said the space may host a coffee shop, office or other use.

As with the first KETCH project, the commissioners questioned how the project’s lack of on-site parking would work. First Avenue has all-day public parking near the project, but the city prohibits overnight parking from November to April to accommodate snow removal. The city does have paid lots that can host overnight parking, and sells monthly permits for those lots.

“You’re going to have 40 units here with no parking,” Commissioner Neil Morrow said.

Bolante replied that the developer would notify tenants of the lack of overnight parking.

“It’s something that the developer is going to address with the tenants, so they know they can’t park when there’s snow,” Bolante said.

Commissioners also expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed design, including a parapet. They said they wanted to break up the building’s appearance more so it fits the scale of Ketchum.

“We’re a small town,” Commissioner Jennifer Cosgrove said. “Things are small scale here.”

The building’s proposed height of 40 feet fits under the city’s maximum allowed height of 42 feet. Its floor-area ratio of 2.3 is also under the city’s maximum of 2.5.

However, any floor-area ratio above 1.0 triggers the city’s community-housing ordinance, which requires payment of a $278,222 in-lieu fee, including on-site affordable housing or developing community housing elsewhere in Ketchum. The developer plans to include several units of community housing in the project, and will submit that plan to the City Council for approval, according to a city staff report.

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