Huntsman Springs Receives 18 Month Extension on Final Plat to Find Buyer for Entire Development
On Tuesday evening, March 7th, the Driggs City Council voted unanimously to grant an extension of an additional 18 months to Huntsman Lodge Subdivision to record their Final Plat. The Final Plat and Development Agreement approval was granted on September 20, 2016 which entails a six month period before the deadline to record the final plat which would have been due on March 20, 2017.
So what does this mean?
This extension delays the timeframe for which certain improvements to the Development Agreement kick in after recording the Final Plat.
Rendering of the proposed Huntsman Hotel
Speaking on behalf of Huntsman Springs, General Manager Dale Prows stated that Huntsman is seeking additional time to record the Final Plat in order to give the company more time to find a buyer for the entire development and golf course, including the unbuilt hotel.
This came as somewhat of a surprise toCity Council, with Council Member Greer Jones asking, “When we approved the plat (six months ago) it seemed like Huntsman was gung-ho, is Huntsman pulling out of the valley and trying to sell this land now?”
Prows explained that the previous agreement which Huntsman Springs had with Panorama International to develop the 1,350 acre resort, fell through when Panorama was unable to secure the financing necessary to complete the project.
Prows went on to state that Huntsman Springs has had many prospective buyers come to “kick the tires” and that he is certain a suitable buyer will come forward who will develop the hotel and maintain the golf course, “I’m positive it will happen, it’s just a matter of when.”
A major impetus to sell, according to Prows, is the deteriorating health of Jon Huntsman Sr., the businessman, philanthropist, and owner of Huntsman Springs. Prows stressed that the Huntsman Planned Unit Development (PUD) entitlement to build a hotel is the most enticing and valuable aspect for any prospective buyer, stating that, “Your extension is just critical for us to move forward. It’s an enormous part of the financial picture.”
City Council voted unanimously to approve the 18 month extension.
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Six Month Check in on Driggs’ New Land Development Code
The Driggs City Council then held a work session to go over content changes and recommendations that have been identified through public comment and by Ashley Koehler, Planning and Zoning Administrator to update the new Land Development Code which was adopted on September 29th, 2016. The content changes are the same that were presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission during their work session last month on February 8th. The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed changes and offer additional comment during upcoming public hearings.
There will be a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission on April 12th, 2017, followed by a public hearing before the City Council on May 16th, 2017.
To view the Code, Zoning Map and project history visit http://www.tetonvallycode.org/Driggs Public comment can be submitted via the site or sent directly to Ashley Koehler, Planning and Zoning Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org