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Victor Area of Impact expansion proposal; PUD ordinance solution; Density language removed from Comp Plan; Title 9 changes

Victor Area of Impact

The hearing was to consider the reasons behind Victor’s request to enlarge their area of impact. The proposed changes would move the eastern and southern boundaries of the existing impact area to the national forest boundaries and move the northern boundary 660 feet north of 600 South, the road that goes into Teton Reserve. The western boundary would be moved 660 feet west of the existing boundary of 200W. Victor Mayor Thompson said that the city realized that there were problems with this proposal (which the county P&Z recommended denying) and suggested that the city and county P&Z commissions hold a series of meetings to work on a good compromise on the size of the impact area. VARD concurs with the mayor that it is important to take the time to make sure that the final decision is the right one. Until the new proposal is done the impact area will remain the same.

Proposal to rescind the existing PUD ordinance

This was the big event of the night and the courtroom was full. After the Planning Administrator read the staff report on the P&Z’s recommendation not to rescind the PUD ordinance, the meeting was opened up to public comment. There were many heartfelt comments made on both sides of the issue. VARD spoke in the neutral position and explained our position that from a purely planning viewpoint rescinding the ordinance would be the cleanest way to go, but given political tensions in the valley and the way the PUD issue has become a rallying point, such a decision would not be in the best interest of the community as a whole. VARD spoke to the need to raise the bar when reviewing upcoming developments and to use the tools that we have in place to do that, namely, the comprehensive plan and our ordinances. We also suggested that the P&Z make a habit of asking the developer for studies that they could use to help in their decision making process. Examples include requiring traffic studies, natural resource studies, fiscal impact studies, etc. After the public comment period was closed the commissioners deliberated and VARD was gratified to see that all three commissioners were on the same page about the direction they wanted to take. Clarion Associates has produced a brief summary of our existing PUD ordinance and has made specific suggestions on how to make the review process more rigorous using the tools that the county has at its disposal now while the P&Z, with Clarion’s help, works to produce a better PUD ordinance. Click here to see a copy of the directives

With these new directives to the P&Z from the BOCC, VARD is hopeful that greater scrutiny of upcoming plans will result in better developments for the county. This is an important step towards a better plan to manage growth and equally as important the decision comes from the board unanimously and represents a compromise that we believe all sides can live with. Density Numbers removed from Comp Plan The BOCC also voted 3-0 to remove the density language from the comprehensive plan. The reason being that the comprehensive plan is not a prescriptive document, but is a guiding document that lays out a vision for the future. The county ordinances are the regulatory tools to carry out the vision of the comprehensive plan. As such, the ordinances are the appropriate place to spell out density requirements.

Title Nine

The Title Nine changes, which have to do with procedural matters in terms of how development applications are processed, were worked on at the end of the night and still have not been completed. An update of those changes will be forthcoming.

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