Housing Projects Are Occurring


OK, not that more can’t be done, but I take issue with the statement by Sun Valley Economic Development that “Everyone says we need housing, but no one is offering any tangible ideas.”

Sun Valley Company just finished new dorms that can house 588 employees. In September 2018, the City of Hailey rezoned a large swath of their downtown core with a high-density residential overlay that allows up to 50 housing units per building, with an average unit size of 600 square feet each. (The City of Hailey apparently is giving building applications under the new density overlay a hard time using the new zoning, but that’s another story.)

The Blaine County Commissioners passed tax relief to encourage affordable housing; five years of no property taxes for buildings anywhere in the county that contain five or more affordable rentals and which cost more than $500,000 to build.

The City of Ketchum is allowing two buildings of 18 units, currently under construction in the business core, to not provide any parking. The City of Ketchum has hired GMD Development to submit in August another tax-credit affordable housing project for consideration to Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA). GMD developed the Northwood Place 32-unit affordable project in 2009. The City of Ketchum and GMD have submitted three other affordable projects to IHFA since then.

I have proposed to the Blaine County Commissioners that the county pay annual stipends to home and condo owners who temporarily deed restrict their properties to one-year-or-longer leases to make a long-term rental as attractive as renting them out in short-term Airbnb rentals.

Yes, people are offering tangible ideas, projects have been built, other projects are proposed under new dense zones, and projects have been applied for.

Kiki Tidwell

Blaine County resident

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