We've Come a Long Way, Baby!
June, 20 2022
, Land Use Code
, Patnerships Matter
Folks! It’s Go Time! Submit Written Comment and/or Register for Verbal Comment NOW!
The Teton County Commission is holding a public hearing for the adoption of the draft Land Development Code on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, from 2-8PM. In order to make it easier for the public to comment, you can register for a specific time slot here. Sign up commenters can speak either in person or on Zoom. Written comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you happy with the final draft of the LDC?
Let your Commissioners know with a comment! This is a new draft code with final revisions; it needs your support to get over the finish line.
Have some thoughts or suggestions?
Let your Commissioners know with a comment! Get specific. Ask for clarification - but check the county's FAQs page first.
This is it folks! If we want to save the Valley from wall-to-wall subdivisions and protect the people, places, and animals of Teton Valley, you must voice your support for adoption of the Land Development Code now!
An Effort Decades in the Making...
Picture it: Teton Valley in 2001. The Valley is on the verge of a development boom, and fly-by-night developers are descending by the dozens. Seeing what was on the horizon, the Doris Duke Charitable Trust commissioned a study on the health of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The study found that Teton Valley was the number one “hotspot” within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem based on its vulnerability to overdevelopment and its “irreplaceability” based on its tremendous habitat and wildlife diversity. Teton Valley had a weak zoning code in place - a holdover from the early 1990’s - and it seemed inevitable that the Valley would lose its ecological integrity forever.
20 21 Years Strong!
But that didn’t happen. VARD formed in 2001 to stem the tide of bad development. Teton County adopted a Natural Resource Overlay in 2008 to protect critical wildlife habitat. With VARD’s help, Teton County adopted an innovative replat ordinance in 2010, which erased over 800 vacant lots in many of the valley’s notorious zombie subdivisions. In 2012, Teton County adopted an award-winning Comprehensive Plan, which cemented a vision of a thriving, ecologically rich valley with wide open spaces and tidy towns. The dystopian future portended in the 2001 Doris Duke study was not to be.
However, in 2012, we hit a snag. The Land Development Code that was the keystone of the Comprehensive Plan suffered from a rapid turnover of staff, commissioners, and consultants. The project lacked leadership and technical expertise and was thus subject to fits and starts. Its future was uncertain.
Then from 2018 on, County Commission candidates campaigned on bringing in the leadership and resources to get the Land Use Code done. They got elected, then re-elected, indicating that the Teton Valley community was ready to implement its Comprehensive Plan and protect the special character of the valley forever. Booms, busts, pandemics, natural disasters, the timeline of the Land Use Code project has seen it all. But on June 29, 2022, we may finally bring the project to a close and usher in a new era of planning and zoning in Teton Valley.
READ the FINAL draft of the Land Development Code! And if you have questions or want more information:
1. Here is a summary of discussions and responses from the BOCC special meetings. Check out this link.
2. Here's a really useful Q&A page put together and continually updated by the Teton County planning staff.
3. If you're wondering whether this code will be voted on in the fall - the answer is NO. Idaho law does not allow land use proposals to be adopted at the ballot box. You can read our legal analysis here in our previous email.
PLEASE COMMENT on the draft code and offer support.
2. Mail or deliver to the Planning Department at 150 Courthouse Drive, Suite 107 Driggs, ID 83422
3. Comment at the 2-8PM hearing on June 29th. The county is making it really easy to comment and not have to wait for hours on end! We recommend sending in a comment letter AND offering comment in person or via zoom. Here's the information: Signing up in advance is requested; please use this sign up sheet to sign up for the hour you would like to give your 3 minute public comment. Fifteen people may sign up per hour. This can be in person or through Zoom. You will be given a number indicating your order to speak during that hour.
ATTEND (in person or Zoom) the Public Hearing on June 29th.
Follow Commissioners as they deliberate and move toward adoption of our new LDC. As stated above, it's simple, and you can sing up now for your time slot using this sign up sheet.
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