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Fox Creek commercial zone request; PUD applications are held to a higher standard as directed by the BOCC

Fox Creek commercial zone
The P&Z commission declined to grant a commercial zone in the Fox Creek area along Highway 33. The commissioners echoed statements from numerous members of the public and VARD that granting a zone change is unwise until such a time as the county has a projected land use map in place to guide such decisions, and that a commercial development at this location undermines the character of the neighborhood, the scenic corridor as designated by the comp plan, and comp plan policies encouraging commercial uses to be concentrated in and around the cities. The motion to recommend denial of the zone change request was approved by a 5-1 vote.

Development Applications
There were six concept plans that were up for hearing. Combined these developments represented 285 lots on 628 acres. All the concept plans were approved to move on to the preliminary stage. The important thing to note is that the P&Z showed that it was willing to step up to the plate and start holding these plans up to more rigorous scrutiny as Clarion Associates has suggested and as the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) requested in a motion on Monday, August 27th, which gave directives to the P&Z on considering development applications. This motion was the motion to not repeal the PUD but rather to use the existing ordinance and comp plan to hold developments to a higher standard while a new ordinance can be worked out.

Targhee Hills Estates PUD
This 192 acre, 140 lot proposal along the Teton Creek corridor was required to show a natural resource analysis, a traffic study, and a fiscal impact study at the preliminary stage of their development application.

Ridgeline Ranch PUD
The developer of Ridgeline Ranch proposed 82 lots on 298 acres and was asked to look closely at their proposed densities, road design, and also to show a natural resource analysis at the preliminary stage.  This proposed development is located at approximately 900 N and 1000 W.

Singing Grass PUD
The Singing Grass PUD application shows 28 lots on 79 acres located off of State Highway 33. The P&Z noted that this development is located in a sensitive area and therefore required the developer to produce a Nutrient Pathogen Study (to help ensure that groundwater quality is protected), a natural resource analysis, and to carefully consider, and probably reduce, the proposed densities.  The P&Z also said that since the development is on the scenic corridor the setbacks had to be honored as well.

VARD would like to commend the P&Z for raising the bar. By doing so the message will go out to the development community that Teton Valley is serious about good planning and being good stewards of natural resources, which will be good for the valley and for all of us.

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