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Letter in opposition to Matthews rezone

Letter in opposition to Matthews rezone

February 3, 2020

Driggs Planning & Zoning Commission

PO Box 48

Driggs, Idaho 83422

Re: Matthews Rezone

Dear Members of the Council:

We have serious reservations with the Matthews rezone, as it appears Driggs has an overabundance of vacant commercially-zoned land already. We’re also quite concerned that the city is being asked to consider a rezone and annexation request in the midst of a city Comprehensive Plan update and zoning code overhaul in Teton County. It is hard to imagine a more fundamental inquiry into the vision for the city and the city’s edges. Approval of an annexation and rezone would certainly be the cart before the proverbial horse. 

Because of the pending Comprehensive Plan and Teton County Land Use Code update, we cannot find that the application meets Section 14.9.4.D, which states “the subject property is appropriate for development allowed in the proposed district.” This very question is currently under review. 

Further, we find that the existing R-3 zoning is generous. It allows a variety of development, including multiple-family dwellings. Thus, the application fails to meet Section 14.9.4.F, which states “There are substantial reasons why the property cannot be used according to the existing zoning.” There are plenty of options available. 

Finally, we encourage the city to get out of the habit of considering rezone/annexation requests without a development agreement, particularly when developers promise specific types of development. Development agreements are one of the few tools available to Idaho cities to control development that will change the face of a community forever. They are also identified as an important tool to implement the Teton County, Idaho Affordable Housing Strategic Plan. 

Respectfully submitted,

Shawn W. Hill

Executive Director


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