September 13, 2016: Broulim’s withdraws zone change application
The city of Victor has released an announcement saying Broulim’s formally withdrew its zone change request. The Sept 14th hearing before Victor City Council has therefore been cancelled.
It is still technically possible for Broulim’s to build a store on the property without the zone change. However, Broulim’s representatives have said it’s not economically desirable to do so without the additional parking and retail store spaces envisioned in their plaza design, which would have required a zone change.
To learn more about the history of this application, read below.
August 24, 2016 update on the Victor Broulim’s proposal
On Weds August 3rd, the Victor Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) voted 3-2 to not recommend granting Broulim’s a rezone for their proposed grocery store and commercial development along Highway 33 just north of downtown Victor.
Proposed Broulim’s location shown above in blue
Valley Advocates had offered provisional support for the project provided that Broulim’s amend their site design to bring buildings closer to the Highway 33 frontage, and reconfigure the proposed parking so that the development did not resemble a strip mall as was previously proposed. Our concern was ensuring that any commercial development on that site should be walkable, bike friendly, and serve as a connective thread between the adjacent higher density residential areas and the downtown core.
At this August 3rd P&Z hearing, Broulim’s did indeed present an updated, pedestrian friendly design with commercial buildings at both the front (West) and rear (East) sides of the property. (See below)
Revised Broulim’s site plan presented August 3, 2016.
A bit of backstory:
On June 21st, Broulim’s requested a zone change from Commercial Corridor and Residential Multi-Family-2 to entirely Commercial Heavy, which we opposed, and advocated the Victor P&Z deny. We opposed this change to Commercial Heavy zoning because it would have enabled Broulim’s to build a strip-mall type of development, which is widely unsupported by Victor residents. Alternatively, Commercial Corridor zoning, which the majority of the property is currently zoned, is intended to serve as a commercial gateway and to take advantage of proximity to major roadways.
In a positive response to a tidal wave of public opposition to the strip mall design at the June 21st hearing, the Victor P&Z asked Broulim’s to revise their site plans, which Broulim’s promptly did in a cooperative effort with our organization.
However at the August 3rd hearing, the Victor P&Z ultimately reasoned that they saw no basis for why the project couldn’t move forward without a zone change by utilizing the existing Commercial Corridor zoned land with an amended and condensed site design. Broulim’s Vice President Mark Oswald objected that to build just the store along the highway, without the other commercial buildings anchoring it towards the rear (East) side of the property would not be economically feasible. He furthered that they needed the rear (East) side of the property for parking and storage.
Valley Advocates’ Position:
Valley Advocates continues to support Broulim’s rezone application with the revised site design and recommends that the City of Victor require Broulim’s to enter into a development agreement to resolve the concerns raised by the public and Planning & Zoning Commission regarding a rezone and site design. Our nonprofit organization exists in part as a free resource for landowners and developers to help navigate the planning process and ensure that new development meets the needs and goals of the community.
Many community members have raised valid criticisms about Broulim’s having a potential monopoly in Teton Valley. Although healthy economic competition is a rational concern here, the City Council must base its zoning decision on the zone change criteria outlined in the city and state codes. They cannot factor in which grocery store corporation moves to town – just whether the applicant has submitted an approvable plan that meets the criteria.
What happens next:
Broulim’s will now take their case before the City Council on Weds September 14th at 7pm at Victor City Hall. There are four possible outcomes from this upcoming hearing:
#1: The rezone is denied. City council may affirm the P&Z recommendation to deny Broulim’s rezone request. If this happens, the store may still be built along the Highway, but only the front (West) half of the properties would be zoned commercial, while the rear (East) half would remain zoned residential. As stated earlier, Broulim’s says it is not feasible to do this scaled back design.
#2: Remand back to P&Z. If the City Council determines that more information is needed, or that the P&Z failed to adequately consider the criteria, they can remand it back to P&Z for further consideration and fact finding.
#3: Continue the public hearing to a future date. If the City Council wants more time for deliberation, or requests more information from Broulim’s, they may continue the hearing to a future date.
#4. Approve the rezone. The City council can choose to overturn P&Z’s recommendation and approve Broulim’s rezone request.
You can email questions and comments to City Planner Jason Boal firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Thursday September 8th. You can also give verbal comments at the Sept 14th hearing. All updated information is being posted here.