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On 3:1 Vote, Victor City Council Approves RV Park Zone Change

On 3:1 Vote, Victor City Council Approves RV Park Zone Change

Last Wednesday, February 22nd, the Victor City Council voted 3:1 to approve a zone change for the 10.3-acre Teton Valley RV Park, located at 1208 HWY31 on the west end of Victor.

Vicinity Map

Vicinity Map of RV park property

The zone change was requested by the RV Park owners in order to expand their business and add 60 more rental cabins and RV spaces.

Concept Site Plan

Preliminary concept plan for the new RV & cabin park

A bit of background information:

This zone change from Residential Multi Family 2  (RM2) to Parks and Recreation (REC) was requested because the REC zone allows more than 5 rental cabins to be placed on the property, whereas the  RM2 zone only allows up to 5 units – which is well below the proposed expansion to roughly 60 cabins for this RV park.

The city staff report for this zone change breaks down the advantages and disadvantages to rezoning the parcel.

Advantages:

  • A zone change allows for the diversification of the existing campground.
  • It ensures that the use of the RV Park continues.
  • It creates an opportunity to create a transition to the rural county from the city.
  • It eliminates the potential for a dense housing development far outside the central core of the city that would have been possible with the RM2 zoning.
  • It would prevent that parcel on the outskirts of town from being commercially zoned, which could have unintended repercussions in the future should ownership change hands.

Disadvantages:

  • Negative impact that an expansion could have on surrounding residential properties.

City Council’s Deliberation:

During deliberation, Councilman Wells objected this zone change proposal, reasoning that the REC zone as it is defined is not suitable to a commercial operation like an RV park. Mayor Potter and the other members of City Council noted that while the REC zone is currently utilized mainly for public parks, there is technically no requirement that REC zoned properties be publicly owned. Wells also took issue with the criteria for a rezone application, stating that the REC zoning request did not substantially conform to the stated use of the code. Mayor Potter disagreed and stated that the Victor Planning and Zoning Commission had already debated the merits of the rezone criteria and found them to be sound, and that the Victor Planning and Zoning Commission had also approved the applicant’s Conditional Use Permit contingent upon City Council approving a rezone. The Conditional Use Permit was granted by the Planning and Zoning Commission since more than 5 units of rental cabins is a use allowed in that zone.

Valley Advocates’ Position:

At the hearing, our Program Associate Brendan Conboy took a neutral position because of the fact that REC zoning, while it does allow rental cabins and other private uses, is indeed primarily intended for public uses such as parks and ball fields. However, we support the growth of existing businesses in the valley and agree with City Attorney Herb Heimerl that, “It’s not a round peg in a round hole” when it comes to the perfect zoning category, “but it’s close enough”. In addition, we fully recognize that both the Comprehensive Plan and the Economic Development Plan identify recreation development as a cornerstone to building our valley’s economy.

The Vote:

Councilmembers Dustin Green, Will Frohlich, and Molly Absolon voted in favor of rezoning the parcel from Residential Multi-Family (RM2) to Parks and Recreation (REC), while Councilman Tim Wells voted in opposition.

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