What Happened to Sherman Park?

March, 13 2024


Patnerships Matter

, Sprawl

, Housing

, Watchdogging

, News

Visit our Sherman Park Page for more infomation.

In 2018, discussions began between the City of Victor and the Teton County Joint Housing Authority (TCJHA) to bring an affordable housing project to Victor. In 2021, Sherman Park was identified as the prime location. Specifically, the City identified a roughly 3 acre parcel on the south east side of the park, which, at the time, was zoned REC Parks and Recreation. This parcel is identified as the future home of a Community Center within the Sherman Park Master Plan. In January of 2022, TCJHA and the City signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formalized the relationship between the two entities. In April 2022, TCJHA issued a Request for Information which identified project outcomes for Sherman Park as 72 one and two bedroom units with a mix of rental and ownership options under 120% Area Median Income (AMI) with a preference for units between 80% and 120% AMI. In October 2022, Snavely Group (Snavely), a for-profit developer, and Northwest Real Estate Capital Corporation (NWRECC), a non-profit developer, both submitted responses to TCJHA Request for Qualifications. At this time, Snavely's proposal included a mix of townhomes and apartments. In January 2023, after much back and forth between the City of Victor and TCJHA, Snavely was selected by TCJHA as the developers of the Sherman Park Affordable Housing Project. Key factors in the decision included the childcare center and targeted AMI. However, at the time of the decision, TCJHA Board Members expressed concern that the AMI level targeted in the proposal would be met by the market. In April of 2023, Victor City Council (VCC) approved a rezone for the Sherman Park parcel from REC Parks and Recreation to CX Commercial Mixed Use - a rezone intended to accommodate the childcare center. The City did not require a traffic study despite ongoing concerns about traffic on Baseline Road and South Agate Ave.

Sherman Park is publicly owned land!

Lease Option Agreement (LOA) FACTS:

  • Property was valued at $2.2 million
  • Property lease would extend to Snavely for 99 years with an annual rent of $100
  • City of Victor agreed to waive permitting fees up to $375,000
  • Stipulation that Snavely will only pay property taxes on improvements, not the land.
  • LOA expired on 12/31/23
  • New LOA will likely be signed in the coming months
  • Staff Report indicates that the new LOA will be “substantively similar” to the expired LOA.      

In May of 2023, Snavely was awarded $4 million in Idaho state funding in the form of a 1% loan from the Idaho Housing and Finance Association to provide Idaho housing at or below 80% AMI. In August of 2023, Snavley came before City Council with concerns that they did not have enough money to build the childcare center. VCC reminded Snavely that they expected the childcare center to be included as it was an essential component of the project from the start. At this point, Snavely was asked to continue moving forward with the 84 unit proposal WITH the childcare center as originally planned. In September of 2023, Staff told VCC that the childcare center would be included in the project. In August of 2023, the initial MOU between the City  and TCJHA was replaced by a Restated and Amended MOU. The Restated and Amended MOU expired December 31, 2023 and any formal relationship between TCJHA and the City of Victor in relation to the Sherman Park Project ended. The City has taken full control of the project.


In late January 2024, Snavely produced a Design Review Submission that included 90 rental only units in four 3-story apartment complexes. No childcare center was included. Importantly, the Design Review Submission did not go before the Design Review Committee or the Planning and Zoning Commission for review. It was sent directly to Council, undermining the City of Victor’s Design Review Guidelines (pg 5-6) and Land Development Code (14.6.3). 

Read the investigative journalism from Jackson Hole News & Guide.

Write to your Council Members. Ask them to TABLE a Development Agreement decision until:

  1. An independent legal review is completed. Limiting the City’s potential liabilities.
  2. An updated MOU is signed with the Teton County Joint Housing Authority to manage the project indefinitely.

Ask them to ensure any development agreement they sign includes:

  1. A commitment to build the required affordable housing units FIRST
  2. Compliance with the $4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds administered through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association.
  3. Commercial uses are written in permanent marker and signed in blood.
  4. A completed traffic study that includes 33 - pass traffic - not ok to use the WY’s AMI but not account for commuter traffic
  5. Commitment to build and finance a childcare center as promised.
  6. Allocation of one parking space per tenant.
  7. No short-term rentals of less than 30 days.
  8. Pets allowed!

NIMBY? How about YIMBY?

At VARD, we know that true affordable housing should live up to its name and be truly affordable for individuals and families who live and work in Teton County, Idaho. Affordable housing is an essential component of vibrant towns.  

     We say “Yes in My Backyard” to affordable housing projects that: 

  • Involve local municipalities working collaboratively with the Teton County Joint Housing Authority with up-to-date Memorandums of Understanding between the entities.  
  • Provide housing that is priced according to the Teton County, Idaho AMI and targets housing needs that are not met by the market. 
  • Are developed transparently with opportunities for community input. 
  • Comply with the Land Development Code, Design Review Guidelines, Comprehensive Plans and all other local ordinances.
  • Conduct quality and complete studies, e.g. traffic studies. 
  • Provide community benefits beyond housing, e.g. live/work spaces, business incubator spaces, or childcare facilities. 
  • Do not take advantage of the housing crisis for personal profit. This is especially important in projects that are granted the use of publicly owned land and those where for-profit developers are chosen to develop the project.  
  • Conform with any and all related Master Plans. 

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Niki Richards, Executive Director
(208) 354-1707
285 East Little Avenue
PO Box 1164
Driggs, ID 83422



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