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Comment letter on Cottonwood Ranches Subdivision

Comment letter on Cottonwood Ranches Subdivision

February 4, 2020

Teton County Planning & Zoning Commission
150 Courthouse Drive
Driggs, ID 83422

Re: Cottonwood Ranches Subdivision Division II

Dear Members of the Commission:

We recommend tabling the Cottonwood Ranches Subdivision Division II subdivision until there is enough information in order to make a factual determination of compliance with Concept Plan approval with criteria pursuant to Section 9-3-2 (B-4) of the Teton County Code. Specifically, the following items are necessary:

  • Applicant findings of conformance with the current Comprehensive Plan.
  • A Level 1 Nutrient-Pathogen pre-assessment (using this spreadsheet provided by Idaho DEQ).

Since the approval of Division 1 in 1999, much has changed. The county added nearly 6,000 people, adopted Nutrient-Pathogen (N-P) standards, and passed a new Comprehensive Plan.

Growth in this area of the valley has led to concentrations of nutrient-pathogens that threaten overall groundwater quality – especially for nearby residents. It is doubtful this subdivision can be developed at the proposed density while meeting N-P standards.

The Comprehensive Plan designates this area as “medium density single family neighborhoods with large open spaces and provisions for clustering.” This proposal is neither medium density nor is it clustered.

Per Teton County code, the purpose of the Concept Review:

“is to discuss, in general, the feasibility and possibility of building the proposed subdivision or PUD including its conformity with the Comprehensive Plan, its relationship to surrounding development, any site conditions that may require special consideration or treatment, and to discuss and review the requirements of this Title, Title 8, and Title 6, chapter 6 of this code” [emphasis added].

Until the applicant has provided the above-mentioned information, the P&Z will be deprived of the information necessary to conduct Concept Review or make the findings necessary to approve a Concept Plan.

Based on the information submitted, it fails to comply with the following criteria:

  • Criteria A: The conformance of the subdivision / PUD with the comprehensive plan
  • Criteria E: Other health, safety or general welfare concerns that may be brought to the County’s attention.”

In fairness to both the applicant and the public, these concerns should not be punted to Preliminary Plat review. The purpose of Concept Plan review is to discuss feasibility and to set expectations for all.

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn W. Hill
Executive Director

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