The County Commissioners meet with the consultants from Code Studio, who emphasize to the County Commissioners: You must get your policies in order first before tackling any new code writing.
Code Studio to County Commissioners: You must get your policies in order first before tackling any new code writing.
A bit about the "Sustainable Communities" grant:
In late 2011, Teton County was the recipient of a $1.5M HUD “Sustainable Communities” grant enabling with $313,000 earmarked for Teton County, Victor, and Driggs to hire Code Studio, an experienced firm with 20+ years of professional consulting work to write their new zoning codes. As a point of reference, Code Studio has written codes for communities throughout the country, including many rural Gulf Coast communities hard hit by Hurricane Katrina that had no prior history of zoning. This HUD grant was part of a 4-county consortium involving Teton County, Wyoming, and Fremont, Madison, and Teton Counties in Idaho. Code Studio was hired through the grant to write a integrated smart growth code to cover all four counties. Teton County, Idaho was named the “pilot project” for this effort.
The first meeting to discuss implementation of the grant:
At this particular meeting, the Board of County Commissioners, the Planning & Zoning Commission, and the consultants from Code Studio met to discuss their work to date on drafting the new zoning code as proscribed by the grant. The Commissioners also invited Mr. Loosli to attend although he was not yet officially under contract to work with Teton County.
Mr. Lee Einsweiler, the principal planner from Code Studio emphasized the need for the county to first “get your policies in order” before engaging in the code writing process. He felt there were fundamental disagreements in the county’s policies at the moment, and there needed to be closure on those issues before the county could more forward with crafting a new zoning and development code. He then summarized the work Code Studio would be doing. Once the County gets its policies formalized, Code Studio will review and critique the County’s existing regulations to determine where they conflict with the newly adopted Comp Plan. However, until the county gets itself organized, Code Studio will focus their work on the cities of Victor and Driggs instead. Mr. Einsweiler estimated it would take roughly 18-24 months to draft a new code. He wanted to set up a public space, potentially in downtown Driggs where citizens could causally stop in and interact with the code writing process and provide their pubic input.
Commissioner Kunz expressed an interest in starting the process sooner, to which Einsweiler replied, “I think you have some policy issues that you need to work on first.”
What happens next?
After an hour, the meeting ended on somewhat uncertain terms. It was unclear from this meeting how Code Studios would work with Mr. Loosli, or whether these would be separate efforts at drafting a new code. In the mean time, Code Studio would begin their code writing work with Victor and Driggs.