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Victor is Booming. So where do you want to grow?

Victor is Booming. So where do you want to grow?

Victor is BOOMING.

So where do YOU want to GROW?

Victor Voters Fight the Fenn Development

A citizen initiative petition was submitted to the City of Victor for approval yesterday, calling for the Fenn property and the surrounding properties to be de-annexed from the north end of the city of Victor. 

These are undeveloped farm fields under tremendous pressure from speculative developers. This area has sapped city resources as developers like Mr. Fenn submit multiple proposals at once – despite the fact new growth is simply not needed in this far-flung location right now, or even in the near future. The core of Victor is booming with new growth: there are 106 units of new housing construction is presently underway, the new Cobblestone Hotel is done, and also the new Victor pharmacy and clinic

Our role is to help the citizens of Victor organize and understand their rights, just like we did with Egbert annexation in Tetonia back in 2009.  It’s clear that Victor decision-makers are under tremendous pressure to do whatever it takes to avoid a lawsuit from Mr. Fenn regarding his highway motel, strip commercial, and cottage court project that has received not even one letter of public support (so far, 43 letters have been submitted in opposition). 

We ask Victor to protect its people, its treasured community character, and the integrity of its planning process. The future of the city should not be dictated by legal threats of an out-of-state developer. Moreover, the city is now positioned to take a proactive – rather than reactive – approach to its future. This year, the City of Victor is scheduled to overhaul its Comp Plan.

The Comprehensive Plan is the very tool by which the community charts its future. Rather than jumping the gun and irreversibly altering the character of Victor in response to a developer’s threat, the city should de-annex the Fenn property and surrounding properties in its NW quadrant for now, and determine if, when, and how these properties should be developed in the future in the Comprehensive Plan. The community should chart its course = not speculative development.  

What happens next with this petition?  

In it’s simplest form, the upcoming steps for a citizen initiative are as follows:

  1. By law, the citizen initiative submitted to the city must have a minimum of 20 signatures.  We’ve learned that 40 were submitted with this petition.

  2. From there, the petition must be “perfected” by the Victor City Clerk, whereby the City Attorney will determine if the ballot language is correct. The Clerk then assigns the initiative an ordinance number. The Victor citizens group is currently at this step of the process, busily gathering the final petition signatures. 

  3. Once the ballot is perfected, this citizen initiative must obtain 67 signatures from Victor “electors” (basically Victor residents who are registered to vote) in order to be placed on the ballot.  So once this ballot is perfected, 27 more signatures are needed.

  4. Idaho state law requires that before the initiative goes to a public vote, it must first be considered by the City Council for adoption. In other words, the Victor City Council can choose to simply adopt the initiative ordinance (and de-annex the land) rather than waiting for a public vote.

  5. If the Victor City Council chooses NOT to approve the initiative ordinance, then it will go to a non-binding advisory vote in November. In this election, Victor citizens will vote to approve or deny the initiative ordinance, and thereby the de-annexation. As this is only an advisory vote, it will only advise the City Council to approve or deny the de-annexation. It is nonbinding. It can technically be ignored by Victor’s elected officials. 

  6. If the City Council chooses to NOT approve the initiative ordinance after the advisory vote, then the initiative ordinance will go on the ballot in November 2021 for a final, binding vote. 

Why is all of this necessary?

This is a crucial moment in Teton Valley. The City of Victor must signal whether it will uphold good planning, or if they’ll simply cave to developers at the mere utterance of a lawsuit. Many Victor residents have told us that they want the city to fight the good fight; if a developer tries to sue, then so be it. De-annexing the property in accordance with public wishes will send a message to bad developers everywhere: we will not abandon our special community character. 

What can YOU do to help?

First of all, if you are a Victor City resident and registered to vote, you can sign the citizen initiative petition (several Victor citizens are canvassing neighborhoods now). You can also send an email to the Victor City Council at urging them to table or deny the city initiated Fenn Project and allow the citizen initiative to run its course. Urge Council to pass the de-annexation initiative when it comes before them (see point #4 above).

1 Comment

  1. Sarah Earley

    I STRONGLY oppose the Fenn Project and the city council should absolutely deny the project. Think about it: planning is EVERYTHING. We live in an gorgeous valley, but it will look like every other stretch of urban sprawl if we don’t do our part to plan responsibly. What a shame to lose what makes our valley so great in the name of greed.

    Also, my house is used in these photos and that’s great! Please contact me if you would like to speak to me about getting the most out of a smaller footprint. Happy to have my architect share how he accomplished this!

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