February 26, 2015
This is a letter of support for the vacation of the Haden Hollow and Trappers Ridge plats. From VARD’s perspective, both of these “paper plats” are significant and reasonable candidates for vacation because both are located in very remote and sensitive areas of Teton County.
- Haden Hollow is located over 6 miles from municipal services. 100% of the plat falls within the Big Game Migration Corridor & Winter Range designation along Badger Creek.
- Trappers Ridge is located over 12 miles from municipal services near the Big Hole Mountains. As a historical note, Trappers Ridge was originally designed to tie into a shared drinking water system with neighboring Appaloosa Ridge and West Ridge Ranch developments. This community water system was the original basis for Teton County approving 600-1,000% (not a typo) housing density bonuses for all three of these housing developments under a now-revoked density bonus provision in the 2004-2007 subdivision codes. Unfortunately, this community water system was only designed to accommodate 25 homes – – but there are 190 lots platted between these three developments.
Vacating these two paper plats will eliminate some of the development pressure in these neighborhood areas and is well-supported by the Teton County Comprehensive Plan:
- Agricultural & Rural Heritage Goal 1, Policy 1.2: Encourage vacation of subdivision plats where appropriate and viable.
- Economic Development Key Action Steps:
- Mitigate the economic impact of non-viable subdivisions
- Create a more sustainable supply of future potential residential lots based on projected population growth
- Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Key Action Step: Incentivize vacation of non-viable subdivisions in or near migration corridors or sensitive habitats
- Agricultural & Rural Heritage Key Action Step: Vacate non-viable subdivisions
- Implementation Tools pages 6-32 and 6-33: Vacate/Replat Non-viable Subdivisions
Since Teton County first adopted these ordinances and policies in late 2010, plat vacations and replats have significantly reduced the current oversupply and have reunited large rural parcels in several remote areas of the county. More specifically, 697 lots have been vacated from 8,670 acres to date, and if this Board vacates Haden Hollow and Trappers Ridge, another 30 lots will be eliminated from 118 acres.
For all of these stated reasons, we support the vacation of these two paper plats.
Program Director and Staff Attorney
Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD)
P.O. Box 1164
Driggs, ID 83422
Fax: (208) 354-1709