The City Council of Sun Valley responded to their residents when they closed the Fairway Road terminus to parking for the Proctor Loop. As someone who regularly hikes Proctor, I struggle with the decision, but I respect that Sun Valley responded to its residents’ interests.
In contrast, Ketchum leaders have ignored their citizens and persist in their obsession to create affordable housing in the downtown core. Here are some facts about Bluebird Village:
- In two Mountain Express polls, nays outnumbered yeas by 2:1 on Bluebird.
- The results of the survey I conducted in March indicated nearly all nearby downtown businesses are opposed to Bluebird. Businesses on Main Street and to the west do not have the same concerns because their parking will not be affected.
- Virtually all residential owners nearby the proposed project opposed it due to insufficient parking, its overwhelming size, the density of tenants, and its inappropriate design.
- The city administration has hidden the total Ketchum taxpayer investment. This includes land worth approximately $6,000,000, $1,400,000-plus from the in-lieu funds, $400,000-plus from KURA, and 40 years of reduced real estate taxes totaling at least $2,000,000. That’s $10,000,000 without a vote by the citizens, for a project that will stand for 100 years and will damage downtown.
Despite the overwhelming opposition, Ketchum is stiff-arming its citizens and the project’s neighbors. So, Kudos to Sun Valley for listening to its citizens; Raspberry’s to Ketchum for ignoring its businesses and citizens.
Nearly everybody in our community believes in affordable housing. But Bluebird is the wrong project in the wrong location to meet this goal. As others have noted, there are better ways.
If you are a Ketchum resident or business and you agree that Bluebird is a bad deal all-around, now is the time to call your city councilperson, or send an email to email@example.com.
John Melin Ketchum