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Redtail revised preliminary plat

Decision Makers: Driggs City Council

Topic: Redtail revised preliminary plat

March 9, 2007

Driggs City Council
 
Re: Redtail Revised Preliminary Plat

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

The revised design of Redtail is a significant improvement over the previous design, and raises the bar for future developments in the Teton Creek corridor.  If it is approved as it is, this development will be a model for other developments along the creek in the following ways:

1.    Redtail’s design includes significant setbacks from the creek, which will most likely allow the creek course to shift naturally and avoid causing increased flooding to downstream properties. The development also helps protects ecological values of the stream through significant setbacks from the creek.  Past work to channelize the stream in this area make it imperative that future developments follow the example of this development and avoid the need to further unnaturally “stabilize” the creek banks.

2.    The developer has addressed concerns regarding impacts to wildlife by better clustering homesites to keep wildlife habitat intact, by removing the trail from the creek corridor, and including in the CC&Rs substantial limits on human activities in sensitive habitat.  As you know, Redtail is located in the Songbird/ Raptor Breeding and Wintering Habitat as defined by the Teton Regional Land Trust.  These measures will hopefully mitigate the effects of having such a development in an area of rich and irreplaceable habitat.  All future developments along the creek should include similar mitigation measures.

VARD believes Redtail, as now platted, is a conservation-oriented development.  It is not the best development that could be platted, because the shear number of homesites in the development will have an inevitable negative impact on wildlife.  

Our community is fortunate to be able to experience the tremendous wildlife associated with healthy creek corridors, but as these habitat-rich areas become filled with home sites, we will eliminate the very values that drew us to live in such places.  We hope Redtail will become the new minimum standard for developments in the creek corridor, both in terms of protecting floodplain and habitat values.

Best regards,

Amanda Thimmes De Rito
Program Associate
amanda@tetonvalleyadvocates.org

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