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Scenic River Estates PUD final plat

Decision Makers: Teton County, ID Board of County Commissioners

Topic: Scenic River Estates PUD final plat

March 5, 2008

Teton County BOCC

89 North Main Street

Driggs, Idaho 83422

RE: Scenic River Estates.

Dear Commissioners,

VARD has the following concerns with the Scenic River Estates PUD: 

·                    Building Envelopes. Teton County Code 9-3-3(A) requires buildings envelopes to be included in the preliminary application.  VARD believes building envelopes should be platted all the way through final recording to give the potential landowner notice of where they may build on the lot. In smaller lots, District 7 requirements on septic setbacks, wells, and water features limit the potential building sites to a small area, thus reducing where a landowner may build.[1] By including envelopes in the final plat, there is consistency all the way through the platting process, and landowners have notice before they purchase. Including the building envelopes in the CCRs would at least give the landowners notice, but CCRs could be amended by an HOA in conflict with the set back requirements in the Teton County code and IDAPA.

·                    There is no water to manage the open space. This PUD has a large amount of open space and a dry farming management scheme, which VARD heartily encourages. However, even planting a drought-tolerant grass landscape may require some initial watering in order to get the seeds established. This valley has experienced increasingly mild winters where the snowpack may be insufficient to provide water for dry farming alone. Is it sufficient to have no underlying water rights to manage such a large parcel? VARD recognizes that there are no easy answers to this question, but we would just like to see a commitment from the developer to successfully establish a drought-tolerant landscape scheme.

·                    Sandhill Cranes will be negatively impacted by the open space design. The February 16, 2007 Fish and Game letter explains that the Sandhill Cranes which likely use the area right now will not be able to use the open space as it is currently designed.

·                    Consider the cumulative impacts of septic drain fields and wells in close proximity to the river. This PUD is one of several developments in the immediate vicinity of Teton River. Each one has its own individual wells and septic systems. At inception, each development may have seemed innocuous. The impacts are much greater however, when all of these developments are viewed as a whole. There are literally hundreds of sewage drain fields and wells located near the river and surrounding wetlands. VARD encourages the county to consider amending its ordinances on individual wells and septic systems to protect our groundwater, marshlands, and rivers. 

Sincerely,  Anna Trentadue


[1] Teton County Code 8-4-4 addresses minimum setbacks.  In AG 2.5 zoning, 30 feet is the minimum setback in front and side yards, 40 feet is the minimum setback from the back yard. In addition, Idaho Administrative Rule 58.01.03 requires a 50-foot setback from surfaces waters.

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