Matthews Annexation and Rezone
July, 24 2020
, Land Use Code
Last week, VARD and the City of Driggs reached a settlement agreement for the Matthews Annexation and Rezone. As you may recall, we filed an Open Meetings and Due Process Complaint against the City of Driggs in May because the city tried to rush the approval during the March/April/May COVID-19 lockdown. The city has agreed to re-process the annexation and rezone, provide accomodation to those unable to participate via Zoom, conduct a recusal (bias) analysis of city council members, and to perform a number of other things to make the process more fair, transparent, and accessible.
We are pleased with the outcome of this settlement. Public participation and community dialogue in development decisions are not only part of VARD’s core values, but are essential to community success. We firmly believe that smart, inclusive decision-making will invariably benefit local government and the community it serves.
The Matthews Rezone and Annexation has been rescheduled for August 12th at 6:00 PM. Coincidentally, the City of Driggs has also released its first draft of its new Comprehensive Plan. For the most part, the draft plan reflects the public’s desire for no sprawl and protected wildlife habitat. However, the Matthews Property, which is in critical Big Game and Songbird/Raptor habitat, is designated as “high density residential” in the draft Comp Plan. We will be highlighting this issue in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we can all take a deep breath and know that an impactful, short-sighted, and opaque development decision is now null, void, and without effect. Smart, inclusive decision-making and protection of wildlife habitat are what gets us up in the morning at VARD, and we will do everything to advance these efforts, even if it means going to court.
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