Ridgeline Ranch PUD; Teton Coffee Company CUP; John Hansford Zone Change
Ridgeline Ranch is a 90-unit planned unit development (PUD) on 280-acres located on the north end of the valley adjacent to River Rim Ranch. In an unusual deviation from the regular process, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) reviewed the preliminary plat for Ridgeline Ranch PUD at the request of the developer because it was unanimously recommended for denial by the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) commission. (Commissioner Nickell recused herself.) However, the tone of this preliminary plat presentation was that of an appeal.
VARD commented in support of the P&Z’s recommendation for denial because the density of the proposed development is totally inharmonious with surrounding north end projects. For example, it is almost three-times the density of neighboring River Rim Ranch and over twice the density of Canyon Creek Ranch. We also noted that the density and open space concerns raised by the public and P&Z have yet to be adequately addressed by the developer. Also troubling was the developer’s refusal of P&Z’s recommended lower density of 56 units, and request to just be denied by P&Z instead. A representative from River Rim and another concerned neighbor who is completely surrounded by this development also provided comments in opposition to this application.
Once public comment closed, Commissioner Larry Young immediately expressed remorse for agreeing to the request for this unusual hearing because it was outside the statutory procedures. Planning Administrator Patrick Vaile said that he felt like he was “duped into this process” because the developer assured him that it would not be an appeal, but rather, a preliminary plat presentation. After much discussion over what to do next, Commissioners Stevenson and Trupp voted to give the developer the choice of a remand back to P&Z for further negotiations on density or proceeding ahead to final plat with their current plan as recommended for denial by P&Z. Commissioner Young abstained from voting, but stated that he agreed with the decision.
Ridgeline’s developers have since chosen the remand option and been placed on the November 11th P & Z public hearing schedule.
The Commissioners granted a conditional use permit (CUP) to Derek Dement to run a home coffee roasting and wholesale distribution business. It will be located at 509 North on Highway 33. VARD spoke in favor of this application because this is a discrete, home business that will continue to look (and function) as a primary residence and the P&Z’s recommended restrictions will keep it this way. Also compelling was the applicant’s willingness to go through the CUP process and not begin his business without first obtaining the appropriate county approvals.
The commissioners unanimously denied a zone change request by John Hansford (of Drawknife Billiards) to re-zone his land in the scenic corridor across the road from the Clawson townsite to a C3 or C2/C3 zone. VARD agrees with the commissioner’s logic that no zone changes will be granted until the Projected Land Use Map (PLUM) is done. The current use on this property is secured as grandfathered manufacturing: the owner may continue this use or even sell business to be continued by someone else so long as the use does not significantly change. To grant a zone change would have constituted a spot-zone that would permit a wide-range of commercial uses of the property that would not necessarily be as harmonious with the scenic corridor as the existing business.