Vibrancy and Housing
The 2014 Comprehensive Plan, developed through extensive community conversations, identified “A Strong and Diverse Economy” and a “Vibrant Downtown” as the top two community values for the City of Ketchum. The long-term vibrancy of the downtown and the strength of our economy is dependent on housing inventory and affordability. The City of Ketchum is tackling housing inventory and affordability through a few different efforts.
The City of Ketchum adopted the Housing Action Plan (HAP) on May 9, 2022 and is now implementing the plan. The HAP outlines action steps to achieve five specific goals related to the creation and preservation of housing, policies to increase housing supply, housing stability and supportive services, seeking and leveraging resources, and collaboration with community partners. For information on the various initiatives underway, please visit www.projectketchum.org/housing-matters.
In addition to the HAP efforts mentioned above, the city’s development regulations are another tool in our toolbox. Although the development regulations cannot stipulate the cost of housing units built, the regulations can directly influence the amount of housing built to ensure that we are building the amount of housing our community needs in a thoughtful way.
The Planning and Zoning Commission and Planning and Building Department have been tracking development trends and evaluating potential changes to the city’s development regulations to address current trends that impact the vibrancy of the downtown and the available housing inventory throughout the city. In short, Ketchum is not constructing enough housing to meet the demands of our community. This shortage of housing is having a negative impact on our businesses, the vibrancy of our downtown, and the community as a whole.
On June 28, 2022, the Ketchum City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission held a community workshop to review development trends, discuss the future vibrancy of Ketchum, the role of housing in that vibrancy, and the proposed changes to the city’s development regulations. For workshop materials, see “Related Resources” on the bottom right of this page. For those not able to attend, an online survey was available to community members in July, to ensure as many community voices were heard in the process. A recap of what we have heard can be found by clicking the button below.
The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the draft ordinance at a special meeting on August 16, 2022. Following a presentation by staff, question and answer, public comment, and deliberations the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-1 to recommend approval of the proposed ordinance to the City Council with some recommendations for clarification and discussion. The packet of information and recording of the August 16, 2022 meeting can be found here.
The City Council will review the proposed draft at their regular meeting on September 19, 2022. The meeting begins at 4:00pm but there may be other items on the agenda. Click the buttons below for an executive summary of the proposed ordinance and a full text of what is proposed.
How we got here: Background Information
Over the past few months, city staff conducted an analysis of development trends in key zoning districts. The analysis found:
- Ketchum lacks available office, retail, and restaurant space, limiting the ability of businesses to start or expand within Ketchum.
- Ketchum has a severe shortage of housing.
- Residential construction has slowed, causing a scarcity of housing, which drives up housing costs.
- Market conditions and land prices are driving the development of low-density, large luxury single-family residences, penthouse units, and low-density townhouses throughout the city where the comprehensive plan encourages projects with more units.
- Consolidation of lots, consolidation of units, and conversion of long-term rentals into short-term rentals is decreasing the number of units available in the community.
These trends result in low housing inventory within the city, limiting the availability of housing for everyone. Simply put, Ketchum is not constructing enough housing to meet the demands of our community.
The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed and recommended a draft ordinance that would revise development standards in key zoning districts to promote long-term vibrancy, increase the production of new housing, and decrease the loss of existing housing. The changes include:
- Establishing minimum residential densities in certain zone districts
- Creating limitations on the consolidation of lots
- Prevent the net loss of residential units when a property redevelops
- Provides parking exemptions to encourage the creation of office and retail space
- Provides the Planning and Zoning Commission with additional tools to review proposed uses in new development projects through design review.
The Planning and Zoning Commission conducted multiple hearings to review the proposed changes, followed by a public hearing by City Council. Following that review, the City Council requested more feedback from the community on the proposed changes.
banner photo credit: Spencer Cordovano