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Comment Letter on county Road & Bridge Facility proposed along Teton Creek

Comment Letter on county Road & Bridge Facility proposed along Teton Creek

September 5, 2018

City of Driggs Planning & Zoning Commission

PO Box 48

60 S Main St.

Driggs, ID 83422

Re: Conditional Use Permit for Teton County Road & Bridge Facility

Dear Commissioners:

The proposed County Road & Bridge Facility lies in the Teton Creek Corridor Project, a $14 million dollar restoration initiated by Friends of the Teton River, Teton Regional Land Trust, Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, Valley Advocates for Responsible Development, and countless others who share a vision for a restored, vibrant Teton Creek corridor. You can learn more about the project here.

We find that more information is needed in order to determine conformance with Conditional Use Permit (CUP) criteria, specifically the following:

1. Landscape Plan and Site Plan.​ The Driggs Cemetery lies to the east to the site, and the Teton Creek Corridor Project lies to the west and north in addition to residential uses. We find that more information regarding the proposed site and landscape design is necessary to determine adverse impact to adjacent lands, the exact location and nature of the proposal, provision for on-site or off-site facilities or services, and if requiring more restrictive standards than those generally required by Title 9 is necessary.

2. Building Elevations.​ We believe more information is necessary for the design of the proposed 14,400 SF building in order to determine the factors mentioned above.

3. Natural Resources Assessment.​ The property is located within prime big game and songbird/raptor habitat, and is adjacent to the Teton County Natural Resource Overlay(s). The Teton Creek Corridor Project partners have invested significant resources into habitat protection along the corridor. Preliminary conversations with Rob Cavallero of Idaho Fish & Game have revealed possible adverse environmental impacts from the proposed use.

Section 9-28-7 Studies; Nontransferability of Permit of the Driggs Area of Impact Zoning Regulations states “Prior to granting or denying a conditional use, studies may be required of the social, economic, fiscal and environmental effect of the proposed conditional use.” We believe a Natural Resource Assessment is necessary to determine the environmental effects of the proposed use, and should be prepared in accordance with Natural Resource Assessment standards established in the Teton County code.

Valley Advocates continues to offer its assistance to the applicant in providing the above. We find that if the applicant is unable or unwilling to provide this information, the applicant should consider other sites for this use, and that the Conditional Use Permit for this site should be denied. If the applicant is willing to provide this information, we recommend continuing this item.

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn W. Hill

Executive Director

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development

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