Donate Now

VARD hit our 20th year in 2021 and we are thankful for all your support!

What happens when you support VARD?

Read more.



The Race is On!

Did you know that one of the big things we do here at VARD is track all development that is happening in our valley? Did you know we have an interactive map that we update regularly with these developments? Read more.


The Teton County Land Development Code Heads to County Commissioners

Just in time for the Holidays!! Planning & Zoning Commissioners voted on Friday, the 17th to pass the Draft Land Use Code on to the Board of County Commissioners, who have committed to read every comment and listen to every concern. Read more.
Current Version of the Draft Code 


RE: Teton County Land Development Code Joint Work Session Held Tuesday Dec 7th

As promised from our last note, here we are to keep you posted from the joint Commissioners meeting last week, to tonight’s meeting – purportedly to decide whether or not to pass the Draft Land Use Code off to the Board of County Commissioners. Well…. read more.


Our Interim Executive Director, Niki Richards, shares her thoughts and this year’s funding request…

Listen to her thoughts here.





Grand Targhee Draft EIS release date delayed…

The purpose of an EIS is to assess the possible impacts of proposed expansion and infrastructure upgrades on public lands. The release of the Draft EIS (DEIS) for Grand Targhee is now expected to be available in the spring of 2022. The public will have a minimum of 90 days after a Notice of Availability (NOA) is published for the DEIS to provide comments on the analysis and findings. A number of changes have been made to the original proposal since the scoping period began. Read More.



Yes, next year is now!

VARD is asking for your support in 2022—as we continue our current work, prepare to tackle new work, AND face the challenges that arise daily as the amount of development proposals coming in from across the Valley overwhelm our County and local agencies. Read More.



Where’s the Middle Ground, Moose Creek Ranch?

In August 2019 a Teton Valley News article referenced a letter written by Moose Creek Ranch developers in which they acknowledged community concerns about their proposed Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application. In response to the community concerns, the developers wrote that their intention was “to follow through on its previously stated desire to be a good neighbor in Teton County, Idaho,” and “As such, and pursuant to [their] postponement letter, [Moose Creek Ranch developers] goal [was] to work with the community and move forward with specific studies in an effort to find a good middle ground.” Developers expressed hope for a productive neighborhood meeting and promised to “deliver a new proposal with a far more limited added capacity and with a “phased approach” to allow for a trial period.” In November of 2019 the follow up CUP application was pulled by the applicant and the public hearing was subsequently cancelled. Read More.

Photo: Natalie Behring



Sausage and Hope…

You have probably heard the expression “democracy is like making sausage,“ meaning the democratic process of listening, compromising, and forward motion on behalf of constituents is messy and, sometimes, chaotic.
The “sausage” part of this journey – drafting and finalizing a new Land Use Code, required by Idaho state law, ratified and approved by our County Commission – is coming to a close. Over the past 9 years, the Code has been drafted, redrafted, reviewed, re-reviewed, discarded, replaced, packaged, and repackaged. Therefore, the perfect example of making sausage in the democratic sausage-making process. Read More.




All of us at VARD – members, staff and board – have been following, and/or participating in meetings for the rewriting of the Land Use Code for almost 10 years. We are continuing to follow it now. We have the utmost respect for the current, and past, P&Z Commissions who have listened to many, many verbal comments in public sessions and spent hours poring through countless written documents, studies, and written public comments for years. Theirs is a very difficult job, at a very difficult time, in the County’s history with development proposals at levels not seen since the early 2000’s. The current draft of the code produced by P&Z Commissioners reflects the comments, both pros and cons, made by the public. Read More




Planning & Zoning Commissioners Continue the Code…

Last Monday night’s P&Z hearing was just over 3 1/2 hours. Commissioners closed the meeting after all comments were in and a motion to continue to Wednesday, the 27th, was made and unanimously approved. Read More.

Audio for both meetings can be found HERE.





Teton County Land Development Code
Comments Due: 5pm October 19th
Public Hearing: 6pm October 25th

The Planning & Zoning Commission is holding a public meeting on Monday, October 25th at 6pm on the revised draft Development Code. Written comments are due by Tuesday, October 19th at 5pm. Read More

Rundown of Proposed Revisions to the County Code



Dear friends and supporters of VARD,

Sept. 9, 2021
Thanks to you, our wonderful community, we experienced our most successful Tin Cup in our 20-year history! Many, many thanks to those of you who supported us. We are extremely humbled by our strong and growing base of supporters. With your help, we are able to continue our important programming work. Read More




Dear VARD Members and Friends:
We’ve helped 50 HOA’s in 5 years… and still going!

Aug. 9, 2021
Our mission is to protect Teton Valley’s breathtaking scenery, laid-back lifestyle, and close-knit community by influencing valley-wide planning, carefully reviewing development proposals, and strengthening the functionality of our valley’s subdivisions and neighborhoods. There are over 200 Homeowner Associations      (HOA’s) in Teton Valley, with the vast majority formed during the development boom of the past decade. Read More



Sneak Preview of Our Upcoming TVN Editorial

May 11, 2021 — The Comprehensive Plan adopted by the County back in 2012 holds a great vision of what many people want for Teton Valley, and the draft Land Use Code will help implement this vision.  It’s direct, flexible and streamlined.   READ VARD’s Editorial here or in this week’s (May 12, 2021) edition of the TVN.




New Land Use Code – It’s been a long time coming…

May 6, 2021 — In 2020 Teton County adopted a new Comprehensive Plan.  In the 9 years since, after numerous public workshops, stakeholder interviews and committee meetings, the new Land Use Code draft is ready to be commented on.  READ MORE about the history leading up to this point and highlights of the draft in our most recent newsletter.





Click image to hear audio message

A Special Message from VARD Board President

April 23, 2021 — Mike Pfeil, VARD’s Board President delivers an audio MESSAGE to Teton Valley residents on the recently drafted Land Use Code. The adoption of new code is possibly the most critically important moment in our 20-year history and the future of our beloved Valley.  READ MORE about recent development issues and how to learn more about the Draft Development Code Open Houses set for April 27-29.




A New Era of Planning & Zoning for Teton Valley?

April 12, 2021 — At long last, Teton County released its proposed Land Use Code.  This new code is possibly the most important moment in our 20-year history, and has the potential to usher in a new period of planning, zoning and development.  READ MORE about the code and the current slate of proposed developments in the Valley.





WE DID IT! — 300 Main Vacated 

March 12, 2021 — It’s not often that you get to turn back the clock and totally undo a giant speculative project from the last real estate boom. READ MORE about the partnership between VARD and the owners of 300 Main to jointly petition the City of Driggs to formally vacate the project.





To Sprawl or Not to Sprawl? 

February 16, 2021 — Last month, the City of Victor Planning & Zoning Commission substantively changed the draft Future Land Use Map (FLUM) to allow for more greenspace at the city’s edges. While this is generally a good change, the FLUM is still fundamentally flawed.  READ MORE.






What is the Best Use of the Old Victor Elementary?

February 1, 2021 — Four bids for the purchase of the Old Victor Elementary were submitted to Teton School District 401, and the Broulim’s bid was accepted.  Could the other bids have offered better possibilities for highest use?   READ MORE.






The Future of Victor – A Compact & Livable City or a Sprawling Mess?

December 30, 2020 — The City of Victor held its first public hearing on the draft Comprehensive Plan on January 7, 2021.  Read VARD’s concerns and our take on the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of the plan.  READ MORE.

Anna and Niki Talk Grand Targhee Expansion –

December 17, 2021 — Anna and Niki speak on the various federal agencies and policies governing Grand Targhee’s proposed expansion, from the EIS being drafted by Caribou-Targhee National Forest, to NEPA regulations and how the Ski Area Recreational Opportunities Act may effect the outcome.  LISTEN HERE.

Goodbye Sandy, you will be missed!

December 28, 2021 — Saunders “Sandy” Mason one of the original pioneers of conservation of Teton Valley’s scenic beauty, agricultural richness and wildlife, passed away on December 26, 2021.  To learn more about Sandy’s mission and his legacy READ MORE






Grand Targhee Expansion Scoping Comments

Click here for VARD’s Scoping comment.

If VARD had a FAQ section, right now number one would be “What are you doing about the Targhee Expansion?”  In a nutshell, it is this: Currently, VARD is a source of information. Later, we will be a source of opinion.  READ MORE




Maytag Property now Forest Service Property

September 29, 2020 –  VARD is pleased to announce that, along with our partners the Caribou-Targhee National Forest (CTNF), the Conservation Fund, the Teton Regional Land Trust, supportive landowners at the Beartooth Group, the Teton County Commissioners, and Idaho’s Congressional delegation, the 960-acre Maytag Property in Horseshoe Canyon has been acquired by CTNF and is now public land. READ MORE




VARD & Statewide Nonprofits Band Together to Help Victor Trailer Park Residents

On September 16, 2020, The Intermountain Fair Housing Council (IFHC), a Boise-based housing advocacy nonprofit, issued this letter to Teton Valley Resort alleging that displacement of residents of the Rockin’ H Mobile Home Community is likely in violation   READ MORE


VARD & Partners Win $20 Million BUILD Grant!

Collaboration ain’t easy, but it gets results! In Spring of 2020, a group of businesses, nonprofits, and local governments in Teton Valley and Jackson Hole came together and applied for a $20 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant from the US Department of Transportation (USDOT). READ MORE



VARD and City of Driggs Reach Settlement Agreement for Matthews Annexation and Rezone

July 24, 2020 – VARD and the City of Driggs reached a settlement agreement for the Matthews Annexation and Rezone. As you may recall, we filed an Open Meetings and Due Process Complaint against the City of Driggs in May because the city tried to rush the approval during the March/April/May COVID-19 lockdown. The city has agreed to re-process the annexation and rezone, provide accommodation to those unable to participate via Zoom, conduct a recusal (bias) analysis of city council members, and to perform a number of other things to make the process more fair, transparent, and accessibleREAD MORE

A History of Action

Since 2001, Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) has been dedicated to preserving natural resources, protecting rural character, and promoting vibrant communities in Teton Valley

The Problem

For nearly a decade, Teton County, ID grew at an unprecedented rate as one of the fastest growing counties in Idaho and the entire nation. The rapid growth strained every type of local resource, from water supply to wildlife habitat to government capacity.

Now, with the housing market fall-out, Teton County is faced with a huge over-supply of homes and lots, as well as one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. The land-use decisions we make now will reverberate far beyond our own lifetimes.

The Solution

Founded in 2001, Valley Advocates for Responsible Development is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit citizens’ group working towards fair and predictable development that will benefit the entire community and future generations.

We seek to be a resource for local decision makers and developers, as well as to educate and empower citizens to be involved in the local decision making process. Please join us. Your generous tax-deductible contribution will help us to continue our important work at hand to promote a prosperous community, while preserving the qualities that make Teton Valley, ID & WY special.

You Can Make A Difference

Please join us. Your generous tax-deductible contribution will help us to continue our important work at hand to promote a prosperous community, while preserving the qualities that make Teton Valley, ID & WY special

Who We Are

Our Mission: To shape policy, guide development, and provide outreach to preserve natural resources, protect rural character, and promote vibrant communities in Teton Valley through civic action.

What We Believe

VARD believes in smart growth and thoughtful development that benefits and promotes vibrant communities and future generations.

What We Do

VARD works with citizens, other nonprofit organizations, developers and local government to promote responsible development and sustainable use of the rural and natural resources of Teton Valley.

Find Out More

Go to our Donations Page and make a donation securely and conveniently. Or, you can mail a donation to:

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development

POB 1164

Driggs, ID 83422

Yes! We are a 501(C)(3) nonprofit corporation and your donations are tax-deductible.

Absolutely. Give us a call at 208-354-1707 or email us at info@tetonvalleyadvocates to learn about volunteer opportunities.

We’ve helped 50 HOA’s in 5 years… and still going!

Aug. 9, 2021 – Our mission is to protect Teton Valley’s breathtaking scenery, laid-back lifestyle, and close-knit community by influencing valley-wide planning, carefully reviewing development proposals, and strengthening the functionality of our valley’s subdivisions and neighborhoods. There are over 200 Homeowner Associations (HOA’s) in Teton Valley, with the vast majority formed during the development boom of the past decade.