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We Are Hiring an Executive Director



Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (“VARD) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation formed by Teton Valley, Idaho residents to shape and inform land use planning in Teton Valley and its environs to promote sustainable and sound economic development, environmental values, and wildlife and natural resources of the region.


VARD’s Mission Statement directs VARD “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.”


The Executive Director (“E.D.”) is tasked with leading and supervising, in conjunction with VARD’s Board of Directors, a four-person staff to accomplish VARD’s planning work, secure funding from and expand VARD’s donor base and endowment programs, advocate as and where appropriate for planning legislation and quasi-judicial actions before local governments, and assure the appropriate administration of VARD’s finances and financial responsibilities.  VARD’s staff includes the E.D., a part-time legal counsel, a certified planning specialist, and talented office support for VARD’s administration, donor tracking and support and finances.


VARD’s Planning Work


  • Attends all of the scheduled legislative and quasi-judicial planning actions of the government entities in Teton Valley (Teton County, Tetonia, Driggs, and Victor). Report VARD’s evaluation to the public, governments, and VARD members through VARD’s website: planning decisions, council and commissioner deliberation recap as relevant, public involvement opportunities and application status and updates affecting the Valley and surrounding  communities;


  • Reviews all land use applications (subdivision proposals, use permits, zone changes, and other development proposals) to evaluate potential impact on VARD’s planning goals and VARD’s membership and to determine whether VARD should take a public position supporting, opposing, and/or informing the public and relevant government entities about possible impacts  of the applications.  Because of VARD’s expertise and community support, many development projects and applications are submitted to or discussed with VARD for input before filing with the applicable local government. The E.D. meets with developers, planning staff across cities and counties, elected officials, community members and neighbors to promote VARD’s mission for responsible development; 


  • As appropriate, VARD appears before local planning groups and governing bodies to advocate for or against particular land use applications and/or government actions, including local government legislation.  In relatively rare instances, VARD initiates or joins litigation over land use decisions to advance the interests and values of its membership;


  • Counsels more than 50 homeowners’ associations concerning land use management decisions;


  • Works with local, state and regional groups, as applicable, to support or oppose  planning, land use, and legislative decisions that affect the implementation and adherence to Teton County’s comprehensive plan, regional planning initiatives, and/or special projects.

 VARD’s Funding. VARD is supported by a combination of donor contributions, private grants from other charitable land use entities, and limited fee-for-service counseling (primarily HOA’s and specific projects).  The bulk of VARD’s funding comes from the dedicated participation of community residents and businesses.  VARD hosts regular events with its members and key supporters and keeps them informed of planning actions, issues and impacts.  The E.D. plays a critical role in sustaining and growing this base support through personal interactions, hosted gatherings, and public events.

Special Projects. VARD is proud to have spear-headed or been a material participant in a number of recent and long term planning and conservation projects . 

Chief among these are VARD’s participation in preparing and advancing Teton County’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan, a regional model for other political entities.  For the past years, VARD has been actively engaged in the development and support for a new Land Use Code to implement the Comprehensive Plan.  The new Code may be adapted as soon as January 2022, and its administration will undoubtedly be a key part of VARD’s work and the E.D. ‘s responsibilities going forward.

Past and current Special Projects also include: planning and coordination  with the principal Teton County non-profits groups and regional planning/conservation groups to establish protection and improvements to the Teton Creek Corridor Project just outside Driggs as it enters Phase II; the protection through acquisition and conservation easements of large acreage in the eastern Big Hole Mountains (the “Maytag” project) that otherwise faced significant, harmful development risk; and the development of a new website to enable VARD to better communicate with its members, the community, and other non-profit collaborators; community education and outreach surrounding the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Grand Targhee Resort, working with local community groups and multiple nonprofits, as well as commenting during open comment periods throughout the EIS process.  VARD’s E.D. plays a leading role in accomplishing these and similar works that arise from time to time and often take years to fully implement.

The VARD Board

The E.D. of course is also tasked with informing the VARD Board of Directors, following their directions, and drawing on support from the Board where needed or beneficial. 


Please email Niki with your Cover Letter and Resume.


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