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Mahogany Ridge; Steve Roth CUP; MD Nursery amended CUP

Mahogany Ridge misses deadline, will not be heard in November.

What Happened?  Last month, the P & Z commission gave Mahogany Ridge developer Travis Thompson until their October hearing to produce all of the required signatures and authorizations from the landowners included in the project.  VARD has been highlighting the lack of landowner authorization to move forward with this project since August.  Without producing the required signatures, Mr. Thompson pulled the project from the October 14th hearing agenda last Tuesday, and then requested to be heard on November 11th.  

At the October 14th hearing, the P & Z commission was left to discuss how to proceed with Mahogany Ridge.  The chief concern of the commissioners was fairness to other applications.  The ultimate decision of the P & Z was to require that the developer submit all of the requested documentation far enough in advance to allow other pending applications to be properly noticed and placed on the monthly hearing agenda.  

What’s Next?  The deadline for producing the required signatures prior to the November 11th hearing passed this afternoon with no submissions from the developer.  Thus, Mahogany Ridge will not be heard in November and other applications will be placed on the agenda.  We will continue to monitor the Mahogany Ridge file and keep you informed about the application’s status.  

Steve Roth CUP recommended for approval with conditions.

What’s Going On?  Mr. Roth purchased the property in question two years ago and then applied for a commercial & industrial sewage permit on September 25, 2007.  On October 9, 2007 Mr. Roth was issued a building permit that included a notation by the county building inspector that he must get a conditional use permit (“CUP”) for the project.  Mr. Roth went ahead and built the structure in the Scenic Corridor and maintains that he was not aware that he needed a CUP for his commercial enterprise.  At the hearing, VARD presented the P & Z with copies of the building permit and reiterated our objection to the all too common practice in Teton County of, “build first, ask permission later.”

What Happened?  The commission voted to recommend approval of this CUP with several conditions: landscaping must be installed on the East and West sides of the property, there is a 4 employee limit, no retail may be sold on site, vehicles must be stored inside overnight, equipment must be stored inside, and motion lights are the only permissible kind of outdoor lights. Commissioners Heileson and Steele voted against this CUP because this type of commercial use is not appropriate in our rural county and scenic corridor. VARD agrees with Heileson and Steele that permitting these kinds of CUP’s creates de facto commercial zoning in the scenic corridor and the rural areas of our county and is therefore inappropriate.

MD Nursery CUP is recommended for approval with conditions.

What’s Going On?   In July, the P&Z reviewed MD’s CUP for a ‘garden store / nursery’ and determined that MD’s café was out of compliance with their current permit. The commissioners also directed MD to resubmit an amended CUP application and outline all of their current and future commercial uses so the commission would be able to limit any future expansions. After several months of delays and canceled hearings, MD Nursery finally had its hearing for approval of it’s amended CUP for ‘expanded retail features, office/professional space, as well as a 750 square foot café.’  Of chief concern to VARD was that the language in the requested CUP application was so vague that it provided no guidance to the applicants or to the P & Z as to what commercial uses were being contemplated.  

What Happened?  In response to questions from the P & Z regarding current and future commercial operations, MD produced a short list of the retail categories that make up their current sales.  The commissioners used this list as a starting point to clarify the retail uses that are to be covered by the CUP.  The consensus was that the retail use should be limited to products that are germane to running a garden store.  The P & Z recommended approval of the café with several restrictions on the size & hours of operation.  The P & Z recommended further conditions limiting the office & professional space to MD employees and restricting retail uses to current operations in an effort to curb further unregulated expansion.  Given the level of commercial expansion that has occurred during MD’s existence as a ‘garden store / nursery’ VARD believes that it is imperative that the county be explicit regarding the commercial uses that it is permitting at MD and all other commercial operations in the rural reaches of the county.  As a matter of fairness, VARD believes that all businesses in the county should be treated with an even hand and subjected to all the same rules and regulations.

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