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300 Main mixed-use development in Driggs

At the August 8th Driggs City Council meeting the council approved the preliminary plat for 300 Main, located just south of Broulim’s along Main Street.  This development is strong in many ways from a Smart Growth perspective.  When completed it will provide a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use area with some great spaces for people to congregate and a lot of trees as part of the landscaping component.   Including an underground parking garage, the parking is spread throughout the development,  which makes it more welcoming of pedestrians and enhances the sense of place.

Some of the proposed buildings are 55 feet high, which exceeds the 45 feet limit set out in city code.   Even though these buildings are set back from the road at the far west of the property and the added height in part accommodates a partially underground parking garage, VARD is concerned about the precedent set, especially so soon after the height guideline was established.

The council addressed one of VARD’s concerns having to do with phasing of the development and what would be required from the developer in terms of public infrastructure at each phase.  The council wanted assurance that ample parking will be provided for phase I since most of the parking isn’t slated until phase II.  The developer agreed to work out a temporary parking solution.  A final concern regarded public funds for the portions of the project deeded to the city.  Roads and some common areas will be turned over to the city upon completion, and the city will require the developer to show the operations and maintenance costs of these areas; if the city tax revenue generated by the project cannot cover all of these costs, the developer will have a plan to pay for the balance.

The council heard comments from 6 people, all neutral or in favor of the project.  Some of those who spoke raised concerns about downstream water quality and irrigation flows, as well as dust and construction mitigation measures.   These questions were addressed by the applicant to the satisfaction of the city council who approved the preliminary plat unanimously.

The plan has been sent to the Design Review Committee for review, after which it will go to public hearing for final plat review, which is tentatively scheduled for October 2.

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