Ketchum Lies in the Path of Totality for the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse on August 21

City of Ketchum
P.O. Box 2315
480 East Avenue N.
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
"Small Town, Big Life"

Inform. Celebrate. Involve.
March 3, 2017
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas

Nina Color
When I first ran for City Council in 2009, I did so because I saw the need for things to be done a little differently at City Hall. I wanted to make sure that Ketchum stayed true to itself and the values we hold here. We work hard, we play hard; we want to protect the essence of our beloved city as we grow and adapt. We have high expectations for how things should work and what kind of community we live in.
These same values and priorities are what motivated me to run for mayor in 2013. As mayor, I've worked hard to ensure that we are professionally, ethically, and proactively meeting the needs of our entire community. This often entails maintaining a delicate - and often shifting - equilibrium between year-round residents and seasonal visitors and between those who seek growth and those concerned with preserving the essential character of Ketchum.
As many of you know, a developer recently sued the City over an ordinance allowing developers to provide community housing in exchange for additional floor area. Uncertain about the outcome of this case, and upon the advice of our legal counsel, we have been examining how best to continue working in partnership with developers while the lawsuit progresses and how we might achieve similar goals through different means.
Right now, this ordinance has been the way the City can address affordable housing in our community. Supporting affordable housing initiatives is critically important to the City - and to me. We need to continue to work and collaborate with developers, Ketchum residents, and the City itself to ensure our shared affordable housing needs are met.
After much consideration, research, and hard work by City staff, I will recommend that the City Council adopt an interim ordinance that will require an exceedance agreement. This will allow all parties to continue working in partnership to ensure Ketchum's affordable housing needs are still prioritized.
One of my key goals as mayor has been to protect and build upon the unique quality of life that Ketchum residents enjoy. I believe that implementing the interim ordinance will allow responsible development to continue while also ensuring that the City can maintain its commitment to a sustainable future.
I will continue to communicate with you as we learn more and develop long-term plans moving forward. In the meantime, please reach out to me or a City Council member with any questions or concerns you may have.

Stay involved. Included here are links to the Monday, March 6, Council agenda and Council meeting information. At this meeting, Council will discuss flood preparation measures and consider approval of ballot language for the election to extend the 1% Local Option Tax for Air Service at a second reading of the ordinance. Mountain Rides will make its bi-annual presentation. The amended agenda includes consideration of an interim ordinance. Details on this ordinance are in the article below.  
It is the responsibility of the City to inform the public and gain public input. Please provide the City with your opinion and comments by attending Monday's meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Ketchum City Hall, 480 East Ave. N., or sending an email to

Comp Plan In 2006, Ordinance 994 was adopted by the Ketchum City Council. The ordinance provides a density bonus in exchange for satisfying the need for community housing.

Also in 2006, the City established a base 1.0 Floor Area Ratio (FAR) in direct response to community concerns and interests related to development, and to ensure that Ketchum could stay true to its history and identity through small- and moderately-sized buildings. Residents had stated that they were amenable to larger buildings - up to 2.25 FAR - as long as the developers of those buildings provided in some way for the impact that these larger structures have on the availability of affordable housing.
Essentially, Ketchum residents voiced their desire for Ketchum to grow in smart, controlled ways. While this has been a source of contention with some area developers, the City believed the ordinance would ease the development process altogether while better providing for affordable housing solutions.
In January 2017, the City was sued over its affordable housing incentive. On the advice of legal counsel, Mayor Jonas began researching potential interim solutions. She was interested in exploring ways to support responsible development while still meeting community needs, acknowledging the resident preferences that originally informed Ordinance 994, and prioritizing affordable housing efforts.
The City Council will consider four options:
  • Do nothing and accept the risk that development beyond the 1.0 base FAR does not have to address their community housing demand.
  • Adopt a moratorium on all development over 1.0 FAR pending resolution of the lawsuit. This would stop all development over 1.0 FAR.
  • Repeal and replace the current development standards with some other standards.
  • Adopt interim standards that protect the City while still allowing development over 1.0 FAR to proceed.
Based on historical trends, legal counsel's advice, City research, and best practices utilized by other cities, Mayor Jonas will recommend that the City Council enact an interim agreement approach. This would allow development over 1.0 FAR to proceed using an "exceedance agreement." 
This solution will require a contractual agreement between a developer and the City. Essentially, developers could still build up to the 2.25 FAR, but only through a negotiated contract with the City that would include provisions for addressing affordable housing impacts.

The City will continue to update and inform the Ketchum community as it balances the pending lawsuit, developer requests, resident needs, and affordable housing demands.


Parking The City of Ketchum began working nearly a year ago on developing public parking management strategies and is now ready to take its first step to improve the availability of parking for residents and visitors.
The need for public parking is increasing due to recent and proposed development. Since the addition of the Limelight Hotel, parking utilization around the property and in the area is near capacity. As stated in the 2004 Community Core Parking Management Plan, when parking utilization exceeds 85%, people tend to have difficulty finding parking and some customers or visitors may leave downtown due to an inability to find a place to park.

Ketchum is beginning the implementation of its parking strategy to increase the amount of short-term parking by adding two-hour spaces in the following areas:
  • Washington Avenue between River and Second Streets
  • Second Street between First and Washington Avenues
  • First Street between First and Washington Avenues
  • North side of River Street between Washington Avenue and Main Street
While we continue to explore the best ways to responsibly meet Ketchum's parking needs, the City will pursue the following strategies:
  • Extend the two-hour parking restrictions to 8:00 p.m. in defined areas, shift long-term employee parking to other areas, and make additional parking available for short-term downtown visitors.
  • Work together with the Ketchum Urban Renewal Agency (KURA) to repave the lots at First Street/Washington Avenue and Second Street/Washington Avenue for parking; implement paid parking on these lots.
  • Work collaboratively with KURA to prepare and issue a Request for Proposal to construct a paid public parking structure on the two Washington Avenue lots.
  • Implement paid parking in defined areas and at the Sixth and Leadville pubic parking lot. Six months after implementation, the City should conduct a utilization study to determine the impact of the paid parking on short- and long-term parking patterns.
  • Continue to invest in sidewalks and lighting to create safe and accessible pathways to parking areas.
  • Conduct an annual parking survey to assess distribution, supply, and utilization; develop strategies to respond to the identified conditions.
These kinds of changes take time when done successfully; they also depend on participation and input from community members. We encourage you to join the parking conversation and send comments to

Ketchum volunteer firefighter and ultra-endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch will open the sixth annual   Sun Valley Film Festival March 15 with the world premiere of the documentary, " Blood Road." The film follows the journey of Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 arduous miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Their goal was to reach the crash site and final resting place of Rebecca's father, a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down over Laos some 40 years earlier. Along the way, both women push their bodies to the limit while learning more about each other's culture, the historic 'Blood Road' they're pedaling, how the Vietnam War shaped each of their lives in different ways and, ultimately, discovering more about themselves.
Congratulations to Chamber Community Awards Recipients 
A Ketchum business and non profit organization accept the Wood River Chamber of Commerce Community Award. Atkinsons' Market and The Hunger Coalition are joined by Hailey Public Library, R. L. Rowsey and King's Variety Store to receive this local honor. 
Have an Idea for Creative Solar Installations?
The city is seeking creative, innovative and attractive solutions for installing solar power systems at Atkinson Park. Possibilities include incorporating solar generation systems into existing structures, playground equipment, picnic shelters, benches and shade structures. The goal is to encourage active and passive recreation while incorporating solar energy. The installations also may be designed as a net metering service to reduce city electricity purchases. Request for proposal is available here.

Bid Invitation for Ketchum Sidewalk Infill 2017 Project Available Mar. 8 
Design work is complete for sidewalk development at four locations in Ketchum. Invitation to bid and contract documents will be available beginning at 1 p.m., local time, on Wednesday, March 8 at Sealed or electronic bids will be received until 3 p.m., local time, Friday, March 24, and will be publicly opened and read aloud at Ketchum City Hall.

Be Prepared for Season Run Off 
Ketchum has experienced a better-than-average winter this year. As the weather begins to warm, it's time to prepare for potential flooding. Visit for helpful information on flood preparedness, sand bags, local resources and river gauge data.   
Support Dark Sky Reserve
The Sawtooth National Forest is soliciting public comment on the proposed Dark Sky Reserve, which would expand provisions on the city's Dark Sky ordinance to the surrounding area. Please consider writing a letter of support by March 22 to Matt Phillips,

City Begins Plans for 2017 Solar Eclipse Event 
Ketchum lies in the path of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse; the first to sweep across the entire country since 1918. Stay tuned as the City works on details to bring the community together to watch the eclipse on Aug. 21. 
City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 6. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Monday of each month in Ketchum City Hall. Click here to see the agenda and staff reports or scan the QR code.

Planning and Zoning Commission 
Attend the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 13. P&Z meetings are held on the second Monday of each month in Ketchum City Hall. Click here for agendas and staff reports or scan the QR code.

Public Comment 
If you cannot attend the Council or P&Z meetings and would like to express an opinion, please submit your comments via email to Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed. 
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