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Annexation and rezone request for proposed Canyon Springs subdivision

Decision Makers: City of Victor Planning and Zoning

Topic: Annexation and rezone request for proposed Canyon Springs subdivision

April 10, 2007

City of Victor
Planning and Zoning Commission
P.O. Box 122
Victor, ID 83455

Dear Members of the Victor Planning and Zoning Commission:

I am writing on behalf of Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) regarding Mike Underhill’s application for annexation of approximately 38 acres, to be called Canyon Springs subdivision, located along the south side of 900 South at the junction of highway 31.  We take a neutral stance on this proposal.

We see the following benefits of annexation: 1) the location is appropriate for new development; 2) by annexing the property, the city can help guide road and utility location to ensure connectivity; and 3) the applicant has offered to pave and upgrade 900 South and 950 South.

We see the following drawbacks of annexation: 1) the City of Victor does not yet have a capital improvements plan (CIP) in place.  Without a CIP the city cannot legally impose impact fees, nor is it able to assess the city’s most pressing needs.  Until a CIP is drafted the city does not have a clear idea of its capital improvement priorities.  2) The annexation and proposed subdivision, given an R1 zoning allowing 2.7 DU/AC, will bring the total number of lots in the pipeline in Victor to approximately 1,185 (from Buffalo Creek, Painted Skies, Homestead Estates, Copper Ranch, Stella Streppa, Timberline and Mountain Shadows, Village North, Victory Ranch, and Teton Lodge).  This translates to a population increase of 4,167 residents (1,185 X 2.9 [avg. residents per household]), which will quintuple the town’s current population.  Is the city prepared to provide the additional services that such growth demands?  What are the specific plans for schools, police and fire, sewer and water, and traffic?  And 3) the city staff is already overworked because of the high growth rate.  Adding 101 additional lots will only increase the staff’s workload.

The annexation and rezone proposal itself looks appropriate and good for Victor.  It is the underlying problem of the city’s inability to adequately cope with growth that keeps us from taking a favorable stance on this proposal.  We hope that this request serves to underscore the importance of addressing Victor’s need for a CIP, more staff, and infrastructure upgrades.  At the very least, please request that the applicant pay for a Financial Impact Analysis, performed by an unbiased engineer of the city’s choosing.

Sincerely,

Ian Tuttle

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