Landfill closure update;Winter roads maintenance; Burns Concrete litigation; P&Z procedural problems; Alternative forms of county government; Redistricting
Landfill Closure Update
The final cover is now on the landfill, with cover and grading in place. Contours are being put in place to ensure better drainage in the area. An additional $65,000 in ground seeding will be completed this spring.
Winter Maintenance of Public Roads
A winter road maintenance request by Sandy Mason on 660 West in Tetonia raised the issue of when it is appropriate for the county to maintain a road. In making his request, Sandy reiterated that VARD has consistently highlighted the difficulty of maintaining roads to many remote subdivisions throughout the Teton County. Sandy then pointed out at that certain roads like his, require some winter maintenance, but on a more limited as-needed basis. Commissioner Stevenson expressed her desire to develop a clear policy for determining when county roads will be maintained, so that the Board of County Commissioners will not have to decide on an ad hoc basis.
Burn Concrete Litigation Update
On November 15, 2007 the BOCC rejected Burns Concrete’s Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application to extend their plant tower to 75 feet, (30 feet higher than zoning restrictions.) At that hearing, Commissioner Larry Young commented that when he reviewed the initial proposal while serving on the P&Z, he understood that Burns Concrete would construct a wet cement plant, and only file a CUP if necessary. Most importantly, that CUP would request a height variance of only a few feet above zoning restrictions. Now Burns has filed a petition for judicial review of this decision, and sent a notice of default for breach of the county development agreement. VARD believes that the county has a right deny such a large height variance within the view corridor. Furthermore, Burns’ legal action against the county will still not result in issuance of the CUP: the district court cannot issue the variance, but may only remand the decision for reconsideration by the BOCC.
Planning & Zoning procedural problems
The P&Z department reported that there are currently 84 new subdivisions in the P&Z pipeline. County Clerk Mary Lou Hansen used this opportunity to bring up her concerns with loopholes in the P&Z process where procedural requirements are falling through the cracks. She used the recent recordation of the Driggs Centre business park to illustrate her point: Driggs Centre’s final plat was recorded even though the county had not received the required $200,000 mitigation check from the developer, and the required engineer review had not been completed. A discussion ensued regarding the need to improve the P&Z process and ensure that the county does not loose out on money collections.
Discussion of Alternative Forms of Government
Commissioner Stevenson brought up the issue of re-structuring Teton County’s government. One possibility would be to create a 5-member BOCC or make elected positions such as the County Sheriff become appointed positions. Commissioner Stevenson qualified these suggestions by clarifying that the question was raised during her campaign; she was addressing it now in order to keep her campaign promise to look into the issue. The Commissioners all agreed to refrain from taking any action at this time, but if members of the community petitioned the BOCC on this issue, they will explore it further.
The board approved a motion to adopt the Clerk’s redistricting map which will divide the county into four voting precincts. This will reduce the voting lines and make voting more efficient since there will be four polling places instead of just three, as in the past.