One of the fears that people in Ketchum have is that Ketchum/Sun Valley would be sold to an outside group that would build hotels and commercial buildings, destroy unique buildings for condos and void zoning and height regulations. In summary, that it would ignore those issues that make our community so special.
Unfortunately, some of those fears came to fruition in 2019 by our current officials. The message sent by them was that even when presented with evidence that might undermine their own opinions, they ignored the community and stuck to their original beliefs.
In September, the community sent a resounding “no” to the Marriott, which should never have gotten approved. The City Council, instead of killing the project, let the Marriott go back to the drawing board. Yes, Marriott has made some concessions but, seriously, let’s keep our eye on the ball. For the P&Z commissioners or anyone to state they have faith in future development or that a left-turn lane will alleviate the problem at the crest of the hill is either naive or does not travel Highway 75 during early-morning hours or late afternoon. Also, are our officials aware of how many cars turn on Gem Street and come up Leadville to avoid the bottleneck? Then ask, does it make sense to have four hotels as you enter the town?
Our administrators have been inundated with phone calls and editorials on not only the Marriott but also many other projects, to no avail.
Common sense and sensitivity are critical as the community debates future projects.
Hope and focus are needed by our officials in 2020. What kind of community do we want? Will we adhere to height restrictions and building envelopes and respect the private citizens? The beauty, future and integrity of the community depend on our officials.
Larry Meads, Ketchum