Government Affairs

Government Affairs Committee Strategic Plan

 Mission Statement:

The Sun Valley Board of Realtors (SBR) will be recognized as a leader by Blaine County and its incorporated cities and will positively influence public policy decisions related to real property ownership including increasing the availability of affordable housing. The SBR will work to improve the region’s quality of life, and thereby maximize the success and profitability of its members, by providing knowledge, information, tools and resources in a timely manner to both SBR members and elected officials of local government issues.

Organization of the Strategic Plan:

The strategic plan is intended to be a living document and to serve as a framework for how decisions and actions of the Government Affairs Committee are considered. The Strategic Plan is comprised of six overarching principles which represent the broad vision of the GAC. Based on the principles, objectives have been set forth. Each objective is a guiding statement that establishes a course of action which will influence present and future direction of the GAC with regards to the six principles.

In following the Strategic Plan, the SBR and the GAC expects the following results:

1)    Expand the use of traditional and nontraditional relationships and coalitions to strengthen public policy positions.

2)    Raise awareness about public policy issues and their impact on members.

3)    Encourage members to seek local elective office, ensuring that the voice of real estate contributes to public policy debates at all levels.

4)    Speak with a unified voice.


Community Housing: (Also referred to as affordable workforce housing, affordable housing and workforce housing. For the purposes of the strategic plan will consistently be termed community housing.) A dwelling that is deed restricted by size, type or cost, either for sale or for rent exclusively for individuals meeting income, employment, occupancy, or other community housing criteria.

Employee Housing: Housing that is provided by the private sector as a way to mitigate for the employment generated by specific commercial developments. Employee housing units are managed by the private sector, but qualification may be supervised by public entities.

Principle 1: Enhancing Economic Vitality

The Sun Valley Board of Realtors supports legislation to improve economic vitality and to increase job opportunities throughout Blaine County. A vibrant economy creates jobs, expands the tax base and enhances and revitalizes the community. To this end, we urge expeditious creation and adoption of a regional economic assessment. Further, we endorse increasing the supply of competitive and quality accommodations to better serve visitors of our community.

Objective: Understand and work to improve and diversify Blaine County’s Economic Baseline

1)   Work cooperatively with community leaders to ensure the creation of a regional economic assessment.

2)   Develop a regional economic strategy, in collaboration with SEIDO, Sustain Blaine, and other economic development organizations, that provides specific recommendations on: a) how to diversify the economy; b) what types of business, education, and low-impact, high-tech job and/or company opportunities will increase the sustainability of the region; and c) how to revitalize the non-tourist as well as the tourist economy.

3)   Advocate for methods by which to attract businesses to the region including zoning changes, affordable housing development, government application and infrastructure fee waivers, etc.

4)   Pursue and support city and county personnel decisions and organizational redesign that provide for continued economic development efforts.

: Promote a healthy and diverse economic base that enriches the local economy and tourist industry.

1)   Encourage and participate in efforts which ensure the development of hotels.

2)   Support efforts which provide continued and improved air service that is frequent, reliable and located in close proximity to the Blaine County community.

3)   Endorse efforts to maintain and enhance the recreation opportunities available for residents and visitors.

4)   Encourage the involvement of local businesses, including the Sun Valley Board of Realtors’ membership, in the development of programs related to economic development.

Objective: Enhance the vibrancy of the community.

1)   Encourage the development of Sun Valley Resort amenities and facilities that serve tourists, residents and visitors, for the purpose of promoting the economic success of the Resort.

2)   Seek continued implementation of Ketchum’s Downtown Master Plan including the completion of the 4th Street Heritage Corridor, the Town Plaza and the First Street Arts Promenade.

3)   Support special events such as festivals, street fairs, parades and concerts that create a positive image for the Blaine County region.

Principle 2: Increasing Housing Supply

The Sun Valley Board of Realtors favor measures that increase the supply and affordability of all types of housing and that assist citizens in moving up the housing ladder, including the lowest rungs of rental housing to first-time homeownership and “trade-up” housing. We acknowledge the role of public entities in increasing the supply of employee and community housing. In doing so, we strongly endorse public-private partnerships that meet the needs of businesses and the community. At the same time, continued and increased opportunities should be afforded to the private sector to perform in the free marketplace.

Objective: Increase entry-level market rate opportunities throughout Blaine County.

1)   Create an inventory of community units currently listed on the Multiple Listing Service and seek to promote such units to those who qualify for affordable housing.

2)   Favor measures which increase the supply of all types of housing through density increases when appropriate and well-designed.

3)   Participate in the development of a down-payment assistance program funded through in-lieu fees as well as private mechanisms.

4)   Support measures which favor utilization of Accessory Dwelling Units in residential areas.

5)   Encourage rehabilitation of existing housing units to strengthen neighborhoods and protect investments.

6)   Advocate for housing transition opportunities for Blaine County’s aging population.

Objective: Understand the employee and community housing needs, location and type preferences of those who qualify for community and entry-level market rate housing.

1)    Request that the BCHA, in conjunction with other interested parties, better asses, monitor, and update the demographic data and community housing demand in order to appropriately meet the need.

2)    Request that the BCHA utilize free-market mechanisms to promote the sales of deed-restricted properties , such as the realtor network and the MLS, and not prejudice the desirability of or return on deed-restricted units with large fees for services that could be better provided by professional lenders and real estate professionals.

3)    Advocate for regulations which are frequently updated and reflect the type, size and location preferences of the community.

Objective: Provide a sufficient quantity and a mix of employee, community, and entry level housing to retain a high-quality workforce and a diverse social and economic population of all ages.

1)    Assist government in understanding the economic and project design consequences to a developer resulting from land use regulations requiring employee and community housing and participate with government to review and modify ordinances, as needed, on an ongoing basis.

2)    Participate in an advisory consulting group, using resources from other resort communities, on: a) how to better use existing community housing tools; b)what incentives will work to increase the supply of community housing; and c) advocate the implementation of such incentives including allowing the purchase of dark condos to fulfill requirements.

3)    Encourage a mix of community housing types, including sale and rental units, and encourage integration of units to provide for a healthy social and economic balance for the community.

4)    Support funding mechanisms, both private and public, which assist the development of community housing.

5)    Endorse public-private joint ventures which increase the supply of employee, community, and entry-level market-rate housing.

6)    Connect community leaders with large scale employee, community, and entry-level market rate housing developers.

7)    Support a well thought out Master Plan for the greater McHanville area which incorporates a mix of all types of housing including market rate, community for-sale and community housing rental units.

Objective: Advocate for measures which fairly disperse the burden of providing affordable housing fairly across the community.

1)   Support and participate in education efforts that help all citizens recognize the employee and community housing need and the community and economic benefits of employee and community housing.

2)   Participate in a comprehensive effort which examines all tools available for providing community housing including general revenue bonds, and private property transfer taxes for the purposes of developing community housing. Participate in state-wide initiatives when necessary.

Principle 3: Improving Air Service

The Sun Valley Board of Realtors supports efforts that provide continued and improved air service to our community. Frequent, reliable air service and general aviation facilities located in close proximity is linked with economic sustainability for destination visitors, and business professionals who travel for work, 2nd homeowners and local leisure travelers.

Objective: Provide continued and improved air service to our community.

1)   Participate in efforts to fund minimum revenue guarantees for air carriers to provide increased, year-round service and support enabling legislation when necessary.

3)   Preserve existing nonstop service to Sun Valley from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Salt Lake City and support negotiations and efforts to expand nonstop service to other key air markets.

4)   Encourage the development of a long term plan to increase air service to markets currently not served from Friedman Memorial Airport.

Objective: Promote frequent, reliable air service and general aviation facilities located in close proximity to the Resort communities.

1)   Advocate for consideration of economic impacts in all studies and decisions related to the location of a proposed new airport.

2)   Participate with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Friedman Memorial Airport Authority at every step of the Environmental Impact Statement Process.

Principle 4: Building Better Communities

The Sun Valley Board of Realtors supports measures, including the development and actualization of Capital Improvement Programs, to build better communities through transportation and infrastructure investments. Adequate parking combined with integrated transit opportunities translates to a better environment and an improved pedestrian experience. Infrastructure (lights, sidewalks, water and sewer, etc.) supports and sustains our quality of life by providing the framework for accommodating residential, commercial and industrial growth and facilitating economic development.

Objective: Support measures which ensure public infrastructure investments reinforce the overall principles of the GAC and the SBR.

1)   Encourage, and participate in, the development and actualization of Capital Improvement Programs for Blaine County and its incorporated Cities.

2)   Advocate for infrastructure improvements such as lighting, sidewalks, undergrounding of power lines, water and sewer expansion which translates to a better environment and an improved tourist and resident experience.

3)   Encourage development of local improvement districts when necessary and appropriate.

4)   Support Blaine County Road and Bridge as an independent taxing authority in order to provide the needed funds for road maintenance and in order to further transparency and accountability.

Objective: Support the provision of adequate parking.

1)   Request the development of a plan for using fees paid by developers in-lieu of providing parking and advocate for implementation of such a plan that provides mass parking options located close to retail centers or with frequent connecting bus or shuttle services.

2)   Advocate for paid-parking in all commercial cores, and specifically Ketchum, as a way to encourage alternatives modes of transportation to the automobile and to encourage frequent turnover and increased parking availability for retail customers.

3)   Encourage underground parking wherever feasible.

Objective: Support an improved and maximized regional transportation system.

1)   Support the reduction of individual car trips and reduced traffic congestion through advocating for infrastructure that supports the easy use of mass transit options including: a)more frequent and reliable bus trips; b)increased vanpool options; c)covered bus shelters; d)frequent connector service between Ketchum and Sun Valley; and e) the development of an internal circulator in both Ketchum and Hailey.

2)   Encourage Hailey and Bellevue to increase financial participation in the regional transportation system.

Principle 5: Preserving Our Environment

The Sun Valley Board of Realtors recognizes that one of the most important elements of our quality of life is the environment: clear air, water, parks and open space.

Objective: Encourage development that is designed, built and managed in a manner that preserves the environment.

1)   Support regulatory incentives, not requirements, which encourage use of solar energy and other sustainable building practices that reduce overconsumption..

2)   Work with affiliate members, homeowners, and the Building Contractors Association to encourage the reuse, relocation and recycling of existing buildings and building materials instead of destruction and dumping in the landfill.

3)   Promote sustainable building practices such as clustered development, which preserves open space and environmental features, where appropriate.

4)   Continue to protect hillsides from development.

Objective: Encourage business development that has minimal environmental impact.

1)   Participate in efforts to attract well-paying jobs that are also clean and do not negatively impact the region’s quality of life.

Principle 6: Ensuring Fairness and Reliability for Property Owners

The Sun Valley Board of Realtors supports property sales price disclosure and other measures to improve equal treatment of all property owners. A strong economy depends on preserving the investment people have made in their homes. To do so, Realtors strongly believe in protecting the ability to use, own, buy and sell real estate through reliable and easily understandable land use codes that are not unduly restrictive.

Objective: Advocate for regulatory systems that are fair, clear, consistent, predictable and efficient.

1)   Promote organized zoning ordinances that consolidate design guidelines, subdivision, zoning and all other land use regulations into a unified, comprehensive document.

2)   Support efforts to identify, update and correct zoning maps for existing land uses that conflict with the underlying zoning and for nonconforming development.

3)   Advocate and promote good planning via an open and collaborative process between private developers and city/county planning departments.

Objective: Demand equal treatment of all property owners and resist regulations which unfairly target the real estate industry and negatively affect its success.

1)   Support Sales Price Disclosure at the State Legislative Level

2)   Monitor regulatory actions to ensure equal treatment in all cases.

3)   Combat measures which unreasonably diminish private property rights.

Objective: Promote regulations that encourage development that is context sensitive and complementary to adjacent property.

1)   Cooperate with the Cities and the County to guide the development of mass and scale, FAR and lot coverage regulations that protect existing property owners, are reasonable and are within the traditional scale of the existing neighborhood.

 Objective: Discourage reliance on the property tax as one of the only methods to pay for municipal and county services.

1)   Preserve Idaho’s Resort Cities’ current ability to adopt and administer a local option sales tax as a way to pay for essential services.

2)   Advocate for property tax relief tools at the State Legislative Level.

3)   Resist Prop-2 style regulatory takings regulation.

For more information about our Government Affairs Committee, please contact Bob Crosby, our Government Affairs Director.