The Ketchum City Council was scheduled to have a hearing on Jan. 21 and likely vote on the Marriott Hotel proposed by PEG Cos. Despite some modest reductions in the size of the project, the applicant is still asking for waivers for density, height, lot size and setbacks. At the highest point, the hotel will be 72 feet from grade in the Tourist zone, which has a height limit of 35 feet. Double the height! This includes a rooftop bar touted as a public amenity! The Tourist zone is intended to be a transition zone between the higher-density Community Core zone and the lower-density Residential zone.
In the last hearing, the council gave positive feedback on the revised design despite thousands of petitions and hundreds of letters indicating the community as a whole does not approve of these waivers. In an online poll by the Mountain Express, 82 percent of respondents indicated that they do not approve of waivers for this project. Not only does the council seem to be ignoring the will of the community, they are ignoring the zoning laws, which require that waivers be used for hardship and that it not be detrimental to the community or neighbors. That is hardly the case. Aside from the massive bulk of this project at Ketchum’s entry, the traffic as you enter town will be a nightmare.
Sun Valley Resort was voted No. 2 by Ski magazine readers this season, due in large part to the unique history and character of the town. We can have growth without destroying that, but we must be smart and make good decisions. Ask your council members to respect our zoning and our property rights, preserve our town and not create a precedent that we will all regret.
Scott Hanson, Fox Island, Wash.