Canyon Creek Ranch preliminary plat application
Decision Makers: Planning & Zoning Commission – Teton County, ID
Topic: Canyon Creek Ranch preliminary plat application
March 31, 2008
Teton County P&Z Commission
89 North Main Street
Driggs, Idaho 83422
RE: Canyon Creek PUD Preliminary Plat
Here it is: the first of several large, rural PUDs up for review by the county. As these PUD applications move forward, VARD’s concern is process. By virtue of being first in line, Canyon Creek will set the precedent for all those that follow. It is critical that the county hold each of these similar PUDs to the same standard under the PUD ordinance, thus creating a fair, consistent, and thorough review process. The August 28th directives from the BOCC as well as additional guidance received by Clarion should help the P&Z in this regard. Overall, the P&Z’s goal should be to ensure that these developments are financially and environmentally sustainable, not just an additional cost to the county. VARD therefore urges the commission to consider the following:
• Financial longevity and open space management plans: If these PUDs flounder, who is left holding the bag? At what point in time does the homeowner’s association take control all of the acres? What if the PUD fails after only a few phases have been built? After only a few phases, the HOA will be small, and not financially solvent enough to effectively manage such a large tract of land.
• Independent studies: Fiscal impact analyses should take into account the projected tax revenues and all long-term costs for providing county services. Wildlife habitat mapping should include migration routes and sensitive areas. Traffic impact analyses should match the criteria provided by Clarion. NP studies should be required for all large developments.
• Adequate review materials. Applicants should provide mapping to show connectivity to surrounding areas, all adjacent land uses, all wildlife corridors, all wetlands, and any areas with unique features.
• Incidental uses: Incidental uses must be carefully managed, and the applicant should describe in detail all anticipated incidental uses.
• Connectivity: With so many large developments in the pipeline, these PUDs should map out how they will connect to each other in terms of roads, trails, and wildlife corridors.
VARD recognizes that there are many positive attributes to large PUD’s. When looking at Canyon Creek in particular, there are many great qualities to this development which deserve mention:
• The plan sets aside 1,585.9 acres of open space, which does not include privately held lots.
• Water will be conserved because there will be no artificial ponds or water features. Community water and sewer systems are being designed for the homes.
• This PUD will include much-needed employee housing on site.
Even the most well-designed PUDs raise some important community issues which the county is responsible to weigh carefully and require the developer to mitigate. VARD has the following concerns with Canyon Creek:
• Financial longevity and open space management plans: If lot sales in this PUD flounder, who is left holding the bag? At what point in time does the homeowner’s association take control of the 2, 619 acres? What if the PUD fails after only a few phases have been built? After only a few phases, the HOA will be small, and not financially solvent enough to effectively manage such a large tract of land.
• Incidental uses: The minutes from the July 23, 2007 concept review indicate that the commissioners required the developer to detail what incidental uses would be present on the property.
• Density: While VARD heartily encourages the sparse housing density on the outer reaches of this development, the core density in the Ranch Village is still very high.
• Cost of services in such a remote corner of the valley. The remoteness of this development makes the cost of services a matter of concern.
• Because this development straddles two counties, how will this development be managed to ensure consistency? How will services be shared, and how will the development agreements be drafted to ensure consistency?
To illustrate these concerns, we have attached an estimated cost of services for Canyon Creek. It serves as a valuable reminder of how carefully these large developments must be scrutinized to ensure that they pay their own way, and are not a drain on our county’s resources.
Estimated Impacts from Canyon Creek
If Canyon Creek has 405 lots, it will add the following to our community:
• 1,174.5 new residents
• 117,450 gallons of waste water per day
• 3,847.5 vehicle trips per day
• 1,215 pets
• 198.5 school children
• 5,285.25 pounds of trash per day
Our community will require the following to accommodate these increases:
• 210,235.5 gallons of water per day.
• 16,818.84 kW hours of electricity per day
• 2.85 police officers
• 32.88 hospital beds
• 23,842.35 square feet of retail space
Impact Calculator Sources
Estimated Population: calculated by multiplying the number of units by 2.9 people, which is the county average for people per dwelling unit. From the U.S. Census Bureau, 2000. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/16/16081.html High confidence.
Water use: calculated by multiplying the estimated population by 179 gallons/day which is the average water consumption per capita in the U.S. From the United States Geological Survey website. http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/2004/circ1268/ Medium confidence.
Power use: calculated by multiplying the estimated population by 14 kW hours/day which is the average power consumption per capita in Idaho. From the United States Department of Energy website. http://www.eere.energy.gov/states/state_specific_statistics.cfm/state=ID High confidence.
Wastewater: calculated by multiplying estimated population by 100 gallons/day which is the national average of wastewater per capita. From the U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://extension.missouri.edu/explore/commdm/dm1905.htm High Confidence.
Hospital Beds needed: calculated by multiplying the estimated population by .0028 beds/person, which is the national average of hospital beds per capita. From the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/29/52/36960035.pdf. Medium confidence.
School Students added: calculated by multiplying the number of housing units by .49 students, which is the county ratio of school children to households in 2003. From the Teton County Cost of Services Study conducted by Collins Planning Associates in 2004. High Confidence.
Vehicle trips added: calculated by multiplying the number of housing units by 9.5 trips/day, which is the national average. From the Teton County Cost of Services Study conducted by Collins Planning Associates in 2004. High Confidence.
Police officers needed: calculated by multiplying the estimated population by .00243 officers, which represents the national average of police officers per thousand people. From the U.S. Department of Justice. http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/sandlle.htm#personnel High-Medium confidence.
Trash generated: calculated by multiplying the estimated population by 4.5 lbs/day, which is the national average of solid waste generated daily per person. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/msw/facts.htm. High confidence.
Retail Space demand: calculated by multiplying the estimated population by 20.3 sqft/person, which is the national average for retail space per capita. From a study conducted by Cushman and Wakefield. http://retailtrafficmag.com/mag/retail_touching_down/index.html. Medium-Low confidence.
Dogs and Cats added: calculated by multiplying the number of housing units by 3 dogs and cats, which is the Teton County, ID average. From a census conducted by the Teton County, ID Humane Society in 2002. Medium confidence.