As the Teton Board of County Commissioners prepares to hold a public hearing on the proposed new land development code, the Teton County Planning & Zoning Commission will have its own hearing on an older version of the zoning map, in order to check an administrative item off the list.
In January, the Teton County Planning & Zoning Commission voted to forward a revised draft of the new land development code to the BOCC. P&Z had been deliberating over the draft for eight months and had held two public hearings to receive feedback from the community on the code, which is supposed to reflect the county’s 2012 comprehensive plan.
Most of the county is currently one of two zones: Agriculture-20 or Ag/Rural Residential-2.5. The new land use code proposes that Teton County switches from minimum lot sizes to average density, a method of calculation that is supposed to encourage open space and clustering. Along with that method came a decrease in the proposed densities. The new code replaces the two main zones with five: rural neighborhood, rural residential, foothills, rural agriculture, and lowlands agriculture (and two other less common zones: industrial, which only applies to a small part of the valley, and town neighborhood). The county is still negotiating its area of impact agreements with the three cities, so the buffer zones surrounding the city limits of Driggs, Victor, and Tetonia will go unchanged for now.
According to Idaho code, P&Z should have made a separate recommendation to forward the proposed zone map to the BOCC.
County planning administrator Jade Krueger said that ideally this step would have happened in February, “if the planning department had been fully staffed.” She said that in early 2022, there simply wasn’t the capacity to coordinate the additional technical component of the process.
The department only now has a full complement of employees, after two planners left the county last summer.
The BOCC has finished its review of the code and posted a new draft on the county website at tetoncountyidaho.gov for the public to read and comment on. During a final BOCC work session on May 11, consultants from the firm Logan Simpson agreed to put together an overview of the updates in the newest draft of the code, so that the public can better understand the proposed changes. That should be posted on the county website this week.
The board is expected to hold a public hearing in late June on the code, although with noticing requirements it could be slightly later. The hearing will be noticed in the Teton Valley News and posted around the valley.
Even though the BOCC will hold a hearing on the code, including a more current zone map, in the coming weeks, comment will be accepted on the older version during the P&Z hearing on June 14. Comments can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or provided during the hearing, which begins at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the courthouse. Two new members have recently joined the seven-person commission and will be involved in the June meeting: former Driggs councilman Wade Kaufman and architect Lindsey Love. Seven other public hearings, six of which are for subdivision concept plans and one of which is for a subdivision preliminary plat, are also scheduled for that meeting.