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VARD submits questions and comments regarding projections into setbacks.

Decision Makers: Teton County Planning & Zoning Commission

Topic: VARD submits questions and comments regarding projections into setbacks.

Dear Planning & Zoning Commission:

I  just wanted to submit a few technical questions as to how the proposed ordinance change to Title 8, Section 4  (allowing projections into setbacks) would be administered. I was trying to think of the many inevitable scenarios that are possible given the fact that there are several thousand vacant platted lots in the unincorporated county which can potentially have a house construction onsite.  

  1. Just as a point of clarification, this ordinance would not allow projections outside of building envelopes. Correct?
  2. How would this exception be administered in areas located within the Natural Resources, Wetlands, or Hillside overlays?  I know that in some developments, building envelopes and setbacks were specifically designated to ensure that construction would not disturb or impact these sensitive areas.  In some developments, these setbacks were used to ensure appropriate separation distances between structures, septic fields, well, and/or overlay areas.  Setting aside questions about separation distances, and instead thinking about this from a disturbance perspective, longer walkways and driveways could create significant disturbances of sensitive areas.
  3. Similarly, I wondered if there could potentially be a situation where projections into setbacks would impact the scenic corridor, or other scenic values that were specifically designed to be protected through the usage of setbacks.
  4. I was a little confused by the proposed wording: Planned Unit Development subdivisions with lots less than 2.5 acres in size are not entitled to the architectural projections listed above . . . .   Does this mean that the lot in question must be larger than 2.5-acres, or all of the lots within the development must be larger than 2.5 acres?  It was unclear to me.  That said, there could conceivably be a situation where a 2.5acre lot abuts smaller lots (ie: 1-acre) in a PUD.  In that situation, projections within the setbacks of the 2.5 acre  lot could limit the buildable area within the smaller lots because of the require separation distances for septic fields and domestic wells.  

I appreciate the opportunity to add these questions into the dialogue.  And thank you once again for all of your hard work in the service of our community.


Anna Trentadue

Anna Trentadue
Program Director and Staff Attorney
Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD)
P.O. Box 1164
Driggs, ID 83422
(208) 354-1707
Fax: (208) 354-1709


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