Sun Valley Pond and Baldy                                                                                                                        Photo by Nils Ribi 

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

October 19, 2015
In This Issue
A Message From Mayor Nina Jonas: Walk

Hemingway School Way-ta-Walker. Rowan Shea Desler and Mayor Nina Jonas
I am competing in a mayors' walking competition throughout the month of October, "Walktober," to demonstrate the importance of physical activity while raising funds for parks and recreational equipment. The mayor who totals the most miles will receive $5,000 to donate to a park or school for new physical activity equipment.
One of the walking activities I am doing is joining the Hemingway Elementary School students' Way-ta-Walker program of walking during their lunch recess on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, childhood obesity has more than tripled over the past 30 years. In a recent study, 30.5 percent of Idaho children were classified as overweight or obese. Children who are at an unhealthy weight often see immediate impacts on their health, including poor school performance. Programs like Way-ta-Walker encourage students to clock in a quarter mile at a time to gain the health benefits of walking, which helps reduce stress levels and improves body conditioning.
The competition, open to mayors in southwest and central Idaho, is sponsored by High Five Children's Initiative, the Idaho Dairy Council and St. Luke's Health System.
St. Luke's Wood River 2013 Community Health Needs Assessment highlights weight management as a top priority for our community. Therefore St. Luke's sponsors and endorses programs like YEAH! (Youth Engaged in Activities for Health) and the Mayors Walking Challenge to support physical and mental health in the valley.
I am currently averaging 10 miles a day by walking to various appointments. If I win, I plan on donating a portion of the money for the proposed Hemingway playground equipment which promotes free active play. Please come out and join me for a walk to commute, run an errand, have a meeting or simply enjoy the amazing weather.


I was a little bummed to see the cost of hanging a banner go up nearly 100 percent from last year. I am sure it is a solid source of income for the city, but a big jump in a non-profit budget. How are city fees calculated?

The city evaluates its fees periodically to make sure they are offsetting city costs. It was found that the banner fee was not sufficient enough to absorb the labor and equipment costs for installing and removing the banners. Fees are not an income source for the city. All city fees are based on the cost of providing services. State law forbids cities and other government entities from using fees as a revenue source. The underlying principle is that city employees are to serve the public at large. When a particular person, such as a banner or building permit applicant, needs a special service, the city charges a fee equal to all associated costs of that service.
As an example, building permit fees take into consideration the amount of staff resources required to review, inspect and approve a project from the moment the application is submitted to the final inspection for a certificate of occupancy. Assessing the staff resources and additional costs of the city required for a project is based on the scale of the construction project, which is derived from the cost. Small projects have lower valuations and require less staff review and inspection time than larger projects.  

Do you have a question for Mayor Nina Jonas? AskNina@ketchumidaho.org

Note: If you submit a question to "Ask Nina," your name may be published unless you request that it be withheld.
Ketchum So you ask yourself, what type of community will Ketchum be in the future? We can tell you it will be walkable and bicycle friendly with a variety of housing types to meet the needs of permanent residents, workers who commute to the community, and second-homeowners and visitors. We will have great dining, engaging retail opportunities and good jobs provided by small and mid-sized companies. We will embrace sustainable and environmentally responsible practices, and of course, celebrate and respect the spectacular and abundant natural environment. This is the future and it takes time to come to life.

While some say Ketchum needs more development, we must recognize there is 3 million square feet of new development that has been approved but not yet constructed in Ketchum. Prior to the recession, development optimism was abundant. Five major development projects were approved that still have valid development rights. These projects consist of new hotels, residential units, offices and restaurants. As the economy improves, these projects are coming to life. The Limelight Hotel is under construction, construction on Auberge Hotel is anticipated to begin in spring 2016, and discussions related to the Simplot and Warm Springs Ranch projects are taking place.

To add some perspective, the five developments call for at least 871 new residential units. This represents a 25.4 percent increase to the housing units in Ketchum. With new housing comes increased population. If all the units were occupied by full-time residents, the population would increase 22 percent or more.

Balancing quality of life and community character in the face of development pressure is a continuing struggle. How much is too much? To date, the projects approved but not yet constructed represent an eclectic mixture of uses and development intensities. But the projects all have something in common: Each will provide some level of community benefit or fill a void such as development of workforce housing. Measured, balanced growth is what defines a livable community. In Ketchum, the future is not far away.

Major Projects Approved But Not Constructed
Development Summary

We often hear the question, "Why can't Ketchum incentivize economic development as resort communities in other states do?" In Idaho, state law restricts incentives cities can offer to attract new development. 
City of Ketchum Zoning Map 
Because Idaho is what is known as a Dillon's Rule state, all local governments in Idaho derive their governing authorities entirely from the state. Therefore, cities were limited in land use planning until the creation of the Local Land Use Planning Act (LLUPA) in 1975.
LLUPA provides Idaho cities the authority to guide their own destinies through the implementation of zoning principles and regulations. LLUPA was a progressive and forward-thinking package of legislation that recognized that local governments not only have the skills and expertise to guide development within their jurisdictions, but that a community must always be in charge of its own destiny. With its community-based focus, LLUPA granted the authority to local governments to recognize zoning as a critical tool for economic development by providing a clear path for the built environment. 
Thoughtful and deliberate zoning practices guide growth and development for the community's benefit. Any zoning regulation in Idaho begins with the Comprehensive Plan,
which is a local constitution describing the values, interests and priorities for the people who live and work within that community. 
The Comprehensive Plan gives guidance on how growth should occur so that it does not detract from the quality of life in a community while building a robust and sustainable economy. The result of any comprehensive plan should be zoning regulations that reflect the community's values for managing and guiding growth. 
Every development discussion begins with how zoning regulations will facilitate a project to be successful. In this way, the community is empowered through zoning and the prospective developer is ensured that the project is in keeping with local values. It is a critical component of the economic development toolbox and one that remains entirely local. The city of Ketchum has a strong history of progressive zoning, allowing sound management of supply and demand, which has shaped and enhanced the community we celebrate today.   

The City Council Monday will recognize three founding members of the Ketchum Arts Commission, Claudia McCain, Gail Severn and Kristin Poole. All served from the time the group was created in 2007 until this month.
These founding members, along with the late Steve Pruitt, created governance documents and recruited a full board.

Successful projects initiated by the three include the seasonal sculpture installation Art on Fourth; Cover Art, which includes applying artist-designed vinyl wraps to utility boxes and to a gondola car on the ski lift line; and cultivation of the city's art collection. The three community leaders also forged collaborations and partnerships between diverse groups working in the construction, architecture, art gallery, recreation and tourism sectors and brought together public, private and nonprofit organizations.
"The city is enormously grateful for their invaluable leadership to the community," Mayor Nina Jonas said.
New commission members are Shannon Daley, operating manager of the Gail Severn Gallery; Courtney Gilbert, curator of visual arts for the Sun Valley Center; Brennan Rego, owner, publisher and editor of The Weekly Sun ; and Lori Mcnee, local artist and artist consultant .
The Council meeting is at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.

In Ketchum, the question of whether one vote matters is hardly rhetorical. In the past five years, at least three City Council seats have been won by margins of fewer than 50 votes.
Ketchum has 2,072 registered voters, and has compiled a chart of statistics on recent elections. Turnouts have ranged from a low of 6 percent for the water revenue bond approved in 2006 to a high of 87 percent for the general election in 1969. In more recent years, there was a high of 74 percent for an increase in the local option tax to support air service in 2012 and a 60 percent turnout for the City Council election in 2013.  
VOTE in the Nov. 3 election. If you're going to be out of town, it's easy to cast an absentee ballot.
Here's a summary of what you need to know to vote, as well as a brief description of the candidates. You can still register in person at the polls.
  • Monday, Oct. 19 - Early voting opens at 8 a.m. at Blaine County Courthouse, 201 2nd Ave. S., Hailey.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28 - Mail-in absentee ballot requests must be received by county clerk by 5 p.m. To request an absentee ballot, click here.
  • Friday, Oct. 30 - Early voting ends at 5 p.m. at Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 3 - Polls open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. All Ketchum residents vote at Hemingway Elementary School.
Two of the following candidates will be elected for four-year terms starting on Jan. 1:
Visit Nights Operational Highlights from Visit Sun Valley 
Visit Sun Valley reports September was another strong month in terms of visitors, with an increase in room nights sold of 19 percent over the previous September. Visit Sun Valley's operational highlights for Aug. 18 to Oct. 15 can be viewed here.
Visit Sun Valley Meeting Set for Nov. 4
Visit Sun Valley's quarterly community meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 9 a.m. at the YMCA. The meeting is open to all, whether or not they are members of Visit Sun Valley.

New Grocery Store in Ketchum?
The possibility of a grocery store and a small number of housing units in the light industrial area will be the topic of a discussion on Monday, Oct. 26, at the meeting of the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission. CenterCal Properties, LLC has asked the commission to facilitate a community discussion of the project it is considering for the property that formerly housed Stock Building Supply at 1000 Warm Springs Road. No formal applications have been filed with the city. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Installation of Solar Panels on Ore Wagon Museum Begins 
Installation of solar panels is underway on the roof of the Ore Wagon Museum, located across from City Hall at East Avenue and Fifth Street. This is a demonstration project sponsored by the Ketchum Energy Advisory Commission to show the feasibility of solar energy. Energy generated will be used at the museum and in City Hall. Completion is expected in November.

"Small Town, Big Life": It's Official! 
Ketchum's slogan, "Small Town, Big Life," has been registered as a trademark with the state and soon will be nationally. #SmallTownBigLife
Eyeglasses Now Exempt from Sales Tax
Sales of prescription eyeglasses are now exempt from sales tax and prescription contact lenses will be exempt starting July 1, 2016, the Idaho State Tax Commission has decided. The city of Ketchum collected approximately $24,000 in sales taxes on these items in the 12 months ending July 1, 2015.

Kudos for the Bike/Ped Plan 
Ketchum Public Works Director/City Engineer Robyn Mattison was on the planning committee for the Blaine County Community Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, which recently won an award from the Idaho Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Firefighters are 'Passionately Pink' 
Ketchum firefighters are "Passionately Pink" in their clothing in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Using Community Alert System 
The recently installed Blaine County Community Alert System was used this week to alert people to the planned power outage this past Tuesday night. Sign up here if you have not already done so.

Want to Be a Firefighter? 
Ketchum and other Blaine County fire departments are accepting applications for paid on-call firefighters. Call 726-7805 or check the website for more information.

Fish and Game to Meet in Hailey Nov. 18 
Idaho Fish and Game commissioners will meet in Hailey on Wednesday, Nov. 18, to discuss hunting seasons through 2018. Please let commissioners know your opinion on the importance of biodiversity, trapping and other issues. Check here for more details as they become available.

Take the Mountain Rides Survey
What do you think about local bus service? Please take the Mountain Rides survey and help plan for the next five years.
Discovering Lucy Loken Park
We were pleased with this note by a geocacher, who found a cache in Lucy Loken Park and described it as "a very nice little park hidden from view" and "providing solitude & tranquility." The park is located at the south end of Walnut Street and runs downhill to Trail Creek.
Invite Your LA Friends to Visit - Sale Ends Sunday
Alaska Airlines is offering discount fares between Sun Valley and Los Angeles.

Early Start at Limelight Site Thursday, Oct. 22 
Construction work will begin at 6 a.m. at the Limelight Hotel on Thursday, Oct. 22. Nearby residents can expect to hear back-up beepers and movement of materials and equipment for a concrete pour, which is to be completed by 7 p.m.  Read notice here

City Council 
Attend the next City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19. City Council meetings are held on the first and third Mondays 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 
Planning and Zoning Commission meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The next P&Z meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 26 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 have an opinion, please submit your comments via email to participate@ketchumidaho.org. Your input and engagement is encouraged. All comments will be reviewed. 
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