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Bluebird Village will damage downtown

Liz Keegan’s opinion piece in the Dec. 9 issue (“Yes to Bluebird Village”) makes a compelling case for subsidized worker housing in Ketchum.

But the Bluebird project as conceived is in the wrong place. Ketchum could generate more money for this project by selling this prime location and moving it to less expensive land.

If they build 56 apartments on this small lot in the center of town, they will be turning the city of Ketchum from a town into an actual city. Just like a city, this site will generate a significant increase in traffic in the wrong place. Where will all these 100 people park? Good luck shopping at Atkinsons’.

This is another folly in the ever-expanding list of Ketchum real-estate follies. From the visitor center debacle to the hole in the ground at the entrance of town to permitting a hotel with insufficient funding right where Idaho DOT wants to widen the road, to raising the height limit on the industrial park, to a $12 million fire station across the street from a school/park and next to a YMCA, Bluebird is just another nail in the coffin.

Ms. Keegan appeals to workers and employers to stand up for worker housing. But the workers and employers won’t be paying for it. It is the residents and taxpayers of Ketchum who will bear the financial burden and quality of life degradation from Bluebird. Maybe they should get a say? A referendum?

By all means build worker housing in Ketchum, but not in this location, not with this density and not with this disregard for parking/traffic. And not with this disregard for the residents of a small mountain town.


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