Developer’s Presentation and General Comments on Mahogany Ridge; Summary of Concerns Raised Regarding Mahogany Ridge; P & Z Recommends Denial of Ridgeline Ranch PUD
Summary of August 12th, 2008 Planning & Zoning Hearing
Developer’s Presentation and General Comments on Mahogany Ridge
The initial public hearing on the Mahogany Ridge Preliminary Plat Application attracted an enormous crowd to the Teton County Courthouse. VARD would like to thank everyone who took the time to write a letter, attend the hearing, or stand up at the podium to voice a concern or opinion on the project. All of the comments made were respectful, insightful, and helped demonstrate the extraordinary level of care that the citizens of Teton Valley have for the place we all call home.
Because so many people attended the hearing and made use of their opportunity to speak, Travis Thompson the project developer didn’t have time to make a full response to the comments. In addition, the P & Z did not undertake any deliberations because of the time constraints. Thus, there was no final resolution of the concerns summarized below.
Future hearings on Mahogany Ridge will be focused on individual elements of the project, which should streamline the comment process and allow issues to be resolved on the same night on which they are raised. That said, the general comment session at the initial hearing was beneficial to everyone present as a means of identifying the areas of greatest public concern with the proposal.
The next hearing will take place on Tuesday, September 9th from 4:30-7:30 at the Teton County Courthouse. As soon as the topics to be discussed have been confirmed VARD will post that information.
Summary of Concerns Raised Regarding Mahogany Ridge
Over the course of the three-hour hearing adjoining landowners, neighbors, other Valley residents, and VARD raised a number of concerns about the project including:
• The P & Z was asked to carefully examine the developer’s letter of intent showing a financing commitment for 125% of the estimated engineering costs of Phase 1 of the project.
• Winter road access and maintenance in light of the proposed changes to the existing roadways. Adjacent landowners and other residents of the West Side expressed concern about the potential impacts of the proposal on necessary winter driving routes as well as potential changes in County snowplow patterns.
• Impacts to school bus routes.
• Impacts on South Bates Rd and 600 S.
• The proposed realignment of 500 S was a major area of concern for many area residents.
• Wildlife Corridors: There were numerous comments indicating that the planned corridors, while admirable in principle, are too narrow, run across golf courses and roads, and are inadequate mitigation for the density of the project.
• The cumulative impacts of the projects proposed density on wildlife, roads, the scenic corridor, adjacent public lands, the Teton River, and nearby conservation properties and other sensitive lands.
• There was concern expressed that the proposal was not in accordance with the Teton County Comprehensive Plan.
• The question was raised of whether a hotel was appropriate for that part of the county.
• The impacts on adjacent landholders of construction noise and dust over a long period of time given the extended build-out period were also mentioned.
Thanks again to everyone who made the effort to participate in the initial hearing in some way. The enormous size of the proposal means that the P & Z process will stretch out for a number of months. We hope to see as big a turnout at future hearings on Mahogany Ridge.
P & Z Recommends Denial of Ridgeline Ranch PUD
Following the Mahogany Ridge session, the P & Z reconvened and considered the application of the Ridgeline Ranch PUD. The commissioners expressed concern about the density of the proposal and presented the developer with the option to reduce the density and return with a new plan in the future. The developer declined and asked to be allowed to proceed to the Board of County Commissioners with a recommendation of denial from the P & Z.