Victor Upzone Request
Victor Upzone Tabled Until Applicant Returns With Concrete Plans
Victor P&Z unanimously tabled a request by Victor Properties (from Taylor, Mississippi) to upzone a roughly 5-acre piece of land between Trail Creek and Main Street behind the Big Fish Property Services building in Victor. The applicant requested a change from the R1 zoning classification (Victor’s lowest impact zoning) to Central Business District (Victor’s highest zoning classification). Victor’s planning staff recommended denial of this request because the upzone should really be tied to an actual development proposal, and to grant an upzone when there is no need for it will simply fuel land speculation.
VARD agrees with the planning staff that any zone change should be directly tied to an actual development proposal. Idaho law directs local governments to analyze impacts to services when considering a zone change request. If you do not know what may be proposed on the property, there is no way to determine its impacts to municipal services. For example, if an upzone is granted here, or even just a partial upzone for the part of the property abutting Main Street, the applicant may come back with an unexpected type of development proposal. At that point, P&Z may suddenly realize that they do not have the sewer capacity for this project, or cannot provide enough culinary waster. This becomes a sticky situation because P&Z will have granted an upzone, an entitlement, but they cannot provide the services to accommodate the zoning.
The applicant stated they want the zone change to provide direction with planning their project – however the applicant can easily schedule work sessions with P&Z to hash out the details of their project without locking in a zoning entitlement that may not really be feasible for the property. The applicant argues that they need the upzone first, but this would really be done to lock in a zoning entitlement or set up the property to be sold off. The bottom line is that zone change requests like this are not necessary in advance of a development proposal – they are typically part and parcel of a proposal.