For the second time this year, the aspiring developer of Moose Creek Ranch has requested a postponement of the public hearing about his conditional use permit application.

Tom Hedges, who co-founded Conestoga Ranch, a “glamping” resort on Bear Lake in Utah, is working to purchase the ranch and install additional units. The property, which backs up to the Jedediah Smith Wilderness in the Moose Creek drainage, is currently zoned as rural residential/agricultural, so a conditional use permit is required for a campground, RV park, retreat center, and dude ranch.

After submitting the original CUP application on June 20 of this year, Hedges amended it before the August Teton County Planning & Zoning meeting to downsize the additions. Adjacent landowners and members of the community submitted over 40 emails in opposition to the project. Many of them expressed concern about the density of the proposed units, the primitiveness of existing infrastructure in Moose Creek Canyon, and the impacts that a large resort will have on natural resources and traffic.

Only a few days later, Hedges requested to postpone the hearing until November. His team worked to downsize the project and ordered studies on natural resources, wildlife habitat, water and wastewater systems, nutrient pathogens, transportation impact, and wetland delineation.

The updated CUP application prepared by Y2 Consultants drops the number of additional units from 83 to 26, in the form of ski cabins, glamping tents, and custom Conestoga Family Wagons. Expansion will result in up to 108 additional lodgers, taking the resort’s capacity to 182, according to the CUP application. The RV sites, lodge, and commercial kitchen will be renovated to accommodate more guests and increased meal service.

All the requested studies have been completed but Hedges and his team are waiting for Idaho Fish & Game and the Army Corps of Engineers to complete their review of the project.

“As such, we have postponed in good faith until we have a full set of fully reviewed studies to include in the staff report,” Hedges told the Teton Valley News in an email.

The public hearing for the Moose Creek Ranch CUP was scheduled for next Tuesday but now will be moved again, possibly to January of 2020.


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