The Sun Valley Planning & Zoning Commission breathed new life into a vacate lot near Elkhorn Village last week by unanimously approving a rezone for a roughly four-acre parcel that will ultimately be subdivided into residential buildings.
The so-called “Sunshine parcel” sits between Indian Springs Lane and Angani Way along Village Way and covers 4.62-acres. The parcel was approved for a rezone during Thursday’s P&Z meeting, downgraded from commercial use to multiple-family residential use.
“Our intent with the rezone is to bring any future development proposal that we do more in line with the neighboring community, in terms of the density and the level of development that is there,” applicant Martyn Hoffman told the commissioners.
According to a staff report regarding the application, the Sunshine parcel was identified in Sun Valley’s 2015 comprehensive plan for future uses as medium-density residential. The property includes a 0.552-acre parcel that contains a private, paved road (Indian Springs Lane), and the rezone application falls in line with what the comp plan proposed for the area, city staffers found.
Maximum density for the newly rezoned property will be 14 units per acre, rather than 21 units per acre as it would have been under commercial zoning.
The parcel has been an issue of contention since it was proposed as a 111-unit residential complex in 2002. At that time, the project was being undertaken by New York City-based Elkhorn Resort LLC and was known as the Sun Villas subdivision, a 90,000-square foot, multi-story condominium structure.
That project elicited concerns from the P&Z and community backlash based on its size, which included one 64-foot-tall building. The project came back before the commission but was rejected in April 2003. The Sun Villas representatives appealed the P&Z’s decision, and the City Council unanimously voted in June 2003 to remand the application to the P&Z. By June 2005 the project had been redesigned and put before the P&Z once again. The updated plan proposed 74 units and gave the project a new title, Sunshine at Elkhorn Springs. However, the commissioners argued about whether the application should be the same as the one initially submitted in 2002, or if a new application would be required given the drastic changes to the proposed development. Then, in January 2006, the city put into effect a moratorium on commercial building while it revised its development code, but the parcel remained in the minds of some as it ultimately made its way into the 2015 comp plan.
While Thursday’s decision clears the way for a medium-density housing development, no plans have yet been submitted by the applicant.