Letter in support of Wildlife Rehab Center permit and in opposition to appeal
Driggs City Council
60 South Main Street
Driggs, ID 83422
RE: Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center CUP Appeal.
Dear Driggs City Council:
Valley Advocates for Responsible Development would like to stress their continued support of Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center’s Conditional Use Permit as approved by the Driggs Planning and Zoning Commission on November 16th, 2016. VARD has been working closely with TWRC throughout the process, and it is clear that they are well qualified, have done their homework, and will operate a safe and successful facility. VARD’s mission and TWRC’s mission overlap in our shared commitment to protect wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the largest intact ecosystem in the lower 48 States. We urge the City Council to affirm the opinion of the Planning and Zoning Commission in granting TWRC their CUP for the following reasons:
- There is a clear and definitive need for this type of facility. The next nearest wildlife rehabilitation facility of this nature is an eight hour drive away in McCall, Idaho. As development pressure increases in Teton Valley and surrounding communities there will inevitably be more human/wildlife interactions and an even greater need for a facility like TWRC. This is an opportunity for Driggs to demonstrate to other communities that we are committed stewards of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
- Driggs Planning and Zoning Commission was correct in unanimously approving the CUP as it met all the Conditional Use Permit Review Criteria (9-2B-2) under the land use code, as well as the applicability of the use of ‘veterinary clinic’ as a Conditional Use Permit in the A-0.5 zone. Furthermore, the TWRC facility conforms to the Future Land Use Map and the Comprehensive Plan.
- As TWRC has eloquently stated in their detailed response letter to this appeal, the 5 criteria listed by Fillmore Farms LLC as cause for the appeal are either without merit, or alternative options exist.
- The TWRC staff are both exceptionally well qualified biologists who have years of experience with this type of work. The safety and welfare of the animals in their treatment, and by extension the surrounding community, is of the utmost importance to them. It would be a shame to lose the prospect of this unique type of facility with such a dedicated staff.
- The City has the ability to place additional conditions on the approval should they see fit. Furthermore, Condition #8 of the CUP Approval by Driggs P&Z states that there shall be a one year check-in after business registration to assess the adequacy of the conditions’ ability to mitigate impacts. This is an opportunity for TWRC to demonstrate to the City of Driggs that they are fully capable of operating a safe and unobtrusive facility that is fully in compliance with the conditions of their CUP.
Valley Advocates for Responsible Development requests that for the reasons stated above, Driggs City Council affirm the decision of the Planning and Zoning Commission in granting Teton Wildlife Rehabilitation Center its Conditional Use Permit. The site is a suitable location and meets all the requirements of the Comprehensive Plan and Title 9 – Zoning Ordinance. The appellant has not provided a justifiable case for the repeal of the Conditional Use Permit.
Brendan P. Conboy
Program and Development Associate
Valley Advocates for Responsible Development