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The Board of County Commissioners is considering several changes to the land use chart

Decision Makers: Teton County Board of County Commissioners

Topic: The Board of County Commissioners is considering several changes to the land use chart

On July 13, 2010, the county P&Z made their final recommendations on changes to the land use chart, creating a more sensible list of allowed, conditionally permitted, and prohibited uses throughout the county. Now these recommended changes are up for review before the Board of County Commissioners. 

Click here to be directed to the County web page where you can read the proposed Title 8 and Title 9 changes to be reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners. 

Here are the most significant changes proposed by the County P&Z:

  • Home occupation ordinance: The goal of this proposed change is to promote and facilitate low-impact home businesses. (See beginning on page 37 of Title 8)
  • A list of conditionally permitted uses: The goal of this proposed change is to allow certain uses provided that they can meet the required mitigations such as screening and minimum setbacks. One of the biggest changes is that domestic wind turbines would now be conditionally permitted so long as the land owner can meet the size, screening, setbacks, and other requirements. (See beginning on page 41 of Title 8)
  • Accessory dwelling unit regulations: The goal is to restrict the size of accessory dwelling units on each parcel of land. There can be many benefits to accessory dwelling units, but at what point should there be a size restriction? Should the restriction be based on the size of the property? What about the underlying zoning? (See beginning on page 20 of Title 8)

Here are the most significant changes proposed by the public:

  • Revamped dark skies regulations: This was proposed by Jack Liebenthal in cooperation with Planning Administrator Patrick Vaile. The intention is to curtail and prevent light pollution. The effort put into this ordinance is admirable, however, the substance is very technical. It remains to be seen if these regulations can be practically implemented.  (See beginning on page 32 of Title 8)
  • Flag restrictions: This was originally proposed within the original dark skies regulations as sort of a pro forma restriction. The proposal was to only allow the illumination of the U.S. flag and the Idaho state flag. At their June work meeting, P&Z deliberated about changing this provision but declined to do so in response to vigorous testimony by Tony Goe that residents should not have the right to illuminate other flags because that was an act of disloyalty to our country. We disagreed and argued that this flag regulation must be changed because as written, it is an unconstitutional restriction of the basic 1st Amendment right to free speech. The government has absolutely no legitimate interest in only allowing government-mandated messages to shine at night. Fortunately, at the July 13th public hearing, P&Z changed this unconstitutional language to allow for the illumination of all non-commercial flags. (See beginning on page 32 of Title 8)

VARD's comment letter: Click here to read our July 2, 2010 comment letter to P&Z. We will soon post our comment letter for the Board of County Commissioners. 

Comment deadline: Comments are due by 4pm Tuesday, September 7th. You can direct your comments to:

Planning Department – BOCC

150 Courthouse Drive

Room 107

Driggs, ID 83422


Hearing date:  The hearing will take place at approximately 5:30pm on Thursday, September 16th in the commissioner's meeting room on the first floor of the new courthouse in Driggs.



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