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Canyon Springs annexation; Teton Lodge and Outfitters sketch plan review; Capital Improvements Plan; Affordable Housing

Canyon Springs annexation
40 more acres were annexed into the city last night.  Mike Underhill plans to develop the property, across the highway from The Settlement at the bend, with 42 single-family homes and a 4-acre park.  While this annexation, looked at in isolation, makes sense for its location and scale, taken in the context of the approximately 1,300 new lots about to become a part of the city VARD opposed the annexation on the grounds that the city does not yet have a thorough plan in place for providing services to all the new lots.  Given the moratorium in the county, the city no longer needs to worry about “what the county will allow” if Victor doesn't annex the property.  The city council can table these annexations for a couple months and take the time to finish its Capital Improvement Plan and hire another Planning and Zoning staff member to better deal with the rapid growth.  Later on during the meeting the city council did discuss their nearly completed Capital Improvement Plan; notes on that discussion follow below.

Teton Lodge and Outfitters
Victor's first resort hotel proposal underwent sketch plan review last night.  The architect and a member of the development team presented their early vision of the complex, which includes six three-story buildings, 137 units, a 3,000 square foot restaurant, and retail space.  The hotel will employ approximately 150 people.  The developers are very willing to work with the city to make sure this project benefits the community and so far their proposal seems well thought out and compatible with Victor's comprehensive plan.  On Tuesday, May 1, the planning and zoning commission will decide on issuing a conditional use permit to grant four variances for the project: 1) a height extension to allow 42 foot tall buildings outside of the Central Business Zone; 2) “fast-track permitting,” which will allow the project to be permitted in stages, speeding construction and streamlining the review process; 3) reduced parking requirements, from 3 spaces per unit to 2; and 4) bulk variance to allow the approximately 70,000 square foot buildings in a zone that currently limits size to 25,000 square feet (each building footprint-the ground floor area-is less than 25,000 sq ft.  It's the aggregate square footage that exceeds the limit).

Capital Improvements Plan
City Council members discussed finishing their Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) after attending an Association of Idaho Cities conference last weekend.  The plan is mostly complete, and council members agreed that the best course is to hire a professional to collate and complete the study in order to have a usable document that can be updated regularly.  We applaud the efforts in this direction as the CIP will be an invaluable tool for prioritizing the infrastructure needs of the city as developers continue to offer assistance in upgrades and expansions.

Affordable Housing
The council discussed the state of affordable housing in the valley.  Right now there is no mechanism in place for deed-restricted houses, or donations to a housing trust.  In order to establish a housing authority, the cities and the county must cooperate and agree on a regional plan.  With the recently completed housing study by BBC consultants all of the necessary data is available.  Councilman David Kearsley suggested that the council put together a complete plan to present to the county.

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