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Second Chances

Newspaper: Teton Valley News / Valley Citizen

Second Chances

Second chances don’t come often, but when they do, it’s wise to take advantage of the opportunity. After  2+ years of compromise and consensus building by many of our community members, the Teton Valley 2020 Comprehensive Plan is headed for its final adoption hearing on Thursday, August 23rd.  Crafted through a process of communication and negotiation, this draft Plan is our community’s future road map.

The new Comp Plan is not designed to bring change upon Teton Valley. The old Plan was what brought extreme and sometimes painful change to this community. The old Plan failed to guide us through a decade-long real estate gold rush, and instead left of us with the lingering baggage of one of the country’s largest boom/bust cycles.  It left us with over 8,000 vacant lots.  Because of the old Plan, our county has lost $300+ million worth of property to foreclosure since 2009, including land in family farms.  Approximately 600 acres of mud and weeds grace the remote northern reaches of the county, where construction of our sixth golf course was halted due to bankruptcy.  Change can often be a good thing, but under the old Plan, this change happened to us instead of for us.

The one thing that we all can reasonably predict is there will be more change over the next decade as we head into the recovery phase of this massive boom/bust cycle. Fortunately, our community has seized upon the lessons learned from the past and taken the opportunity to grow smarter this time. The new Comp Plan focuses on being proactive in face of inevitable change and fiscal uncertainty, and building a resilient local economy. Armed with past wisdom and optimism ahead, the new Plan will ensure that future change happens for us instead of to us.

Stacey Frisk

Executive Director

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development

 

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