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Comment letter on the Fin & Feather Rezone

May 3, 2016

Teton County Planning & Zoning Commission

150 Courthouse Drive

Driggs, ID 83422

Re: Fin and Feather Rezone Application

Dear Commissioners:

While our organization heartily supports the use of B&B’s as part of our community’s critically important recreation economy, we very regretfully cannot support the rezone component of this dual application for a rezone and conditional use permit. Low-impact hospitality uses such as the Fin and Feather Inn are strongly supported in the Comprehensive Plan, however the requested zone change from A-2.5 to R1 (and all of these other uses that accompany the R1 designation) will result in a higher-density spot-zone along the codified “scenic gateway” to Teton Valley, which is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

However, there may be another way to accommodate this business’ needs. It is our understanding that the owners of the Fin and Feather Inn seek R1 zoning in order to allow for the four (4) guest rooms necessary to obtain business insurance. Since this is likely an issue for other small B&Bs in Teton County, we recommend a simple ordinance change to Section 8-6-2-B-3-b increasing the number of allowed guest rooms to five (5) rooms. This will prevent the need for spot zoning and will hopefully help promote the development of other small B&Bs in Teton County.

In the past, our organization has requested this Commission remove potential legal roadblocks to commercial uses that fit within the Comprehensive Plan’s support for recreation development  (ie: B&B’s, campgrounds, nature retreats, hunting lodges, etc.) As this Commission continues to draft the new Land Use Code, we once again request facilitation of these rural recreation businesses.

If the Planning & Zoning Commission is amenable to this type of ordinance change, Valley Advocates will gladly offer our assistance to the Fin & Feather Inn in the preparation and assembly of an ordinance change application.

Respectfully,

Shawn W. Hill

Executive Director

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development

4 Comments

  1. Karen Perry

    As a property owner close to Fin and Feather (4180 West, 9700 South), I support the plan to create an ordinance change outlined by VARD to allow this business to obtain business insurance. This is a very reasonable solution as opposed to changing zoning of this property to R-1 which runs the risk of allowing high-density spot zoning along this scenic corridor, something which is not consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

    I also need to add that is the first I am hearing of the proposed zoning change; is it proper protocol to not notify nearby residents?

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