RIVER'S WEST RECONSIDERATION HEARING
June, 3 2022
MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Tuesday, June 7, 2022 @ 6pm
City Council Chambers
60 S. Main St, Driggs, Idaho
The developer of the controversial Rivers West Subdivision has now filed a request for reconsideration of the Driggs City Council's unanimous denial of his preliminary plat back in April. While Mr. Colby Hackbarth certainly has the right to pay the fee and submit a request for reconsideration by the Council, he only submitted a 4-sentence basis for his appeal.
The appeal filed by the developer.
In his statement of appeal, we believe Hackbarth has misapplied the logic of the Driggs Planning & Zoning Commission's recommendations from earlier this spring. For one thing, the P&Z decision is not binding; by law the P&Z can only issue recommendations. The P&Z is vested with no approval authority; this is a well established legal precedent.
Secondly, the P&Z clearly stated that all of these future infrastructure studies and conditions would need to first be met by Hackbarth before the preliminary plat would even be potentially approv-able by Council. Hackbarth failed to meet many of the P&Z's recommended studies and conditions. As such, the Council exercised their statutory authority to use their judgment and sole discretion to make the final binding decision; they voted against approval.
We believe the council’s decision was prudent since Rivers West cannot meet the City's "stand alone" requirement that every phase of the development must comply with all of the City's codes and municipal plans. Infact, the safe, conservative route here was to vote it down for that very reason- with traffic safety being paramount.
What are the next steps here?
The City staff has said there will be "no new information" at this upcoming June 7th hearing, and as such, no public comment will be taken. Hackbarth has technically made NO changes or new proposals with this appeal. That is OK; under the Driggs' entitlement process, he cannot make any changes right now because this is an appeal based entirely on what the record shows from the prior hearings. Even if there is no public comment allowed, it's still very important for the public to attend. It makes a big difference....
The City staff has issued this staff report which clearly gives the option for the Council to simply affirm their earlier decision based on the record. Notably, IF the Council were to suddenly now reverse their decision, the staff report outlines 10 detailed conditions which would still need to be met before this project could be approved. This shows how incomplete the River West proposal is, especially considering this is the final stage of the entitlement process before breaking ground . . . all of these loose ends are supposed to be resolved by this point.
The incomplete nature of this project is not surprising considering the breakneck speed with which this project has raced to “get to market” as fast as possible. Hackbarth’s Go West Ventures LLC only acquired the property last May. They filed their master plan application in August, and were immediately on the hearing agenda for September.
We are hopeful that the Council will reaffirm their denial of this project and send a message that a project this big and important to the Driggs community needs to be more thoroughly vetted and thoughtfully designed.
View Full Agenda Here
To LISTEN ONLY to this City Council Meeting: By personal computer, or smartphone use Zoom application one of the following ways:
Follow the link on the City website (www.DriggsIdaho.org) located on the City Council Meetings page Direct Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86201838007
By Phone: Dial 312-626-6799 or 646-558-8656 and use
Webinar ID: 862 0183 8007
IN PERSON ATTENDANCE AT CITY MEETINGS MAY BE LIMITED TO ALLOW FOR PROPER DISTANCING IN ACCORDANCE WITH CURRENT CDC AND HEALTH SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS. FACE-COVERINGS MAY BE REQUIRED AT CITY FACILITIES AND/OR MEETINGS
Stay informed on Teton Valley's important projects
Get the latest news in your inbox