The Teton County Planning and Zoning Commission and Board of County Commissioners will hold a joint meeting to tackle specific concerns in the continuing revision of the proposed new land development code.
This decision came after the P&Z commissioners voted on Oct. 27 to keep working on the document instead of making a recommendation to the BOCC. During that meeting, P&Z also voted to create an ad hoc committee made up of different community members to guide edits.
Since May of this year, P&Z has met frequently to iron out some of the flaws in the draft code. When a new version was released in early October, many members of the public were still opposed to it, particularly with the increased lot sizes across parts of the valley. This continued resistance caused the P&Z to reconsider its plan to pass the code on to the BOCC.
The county commissioners, however, viewed the proposal of a new subcommittee as continued foot-dragging in a multi-year process. During a regular meeting on Nov. 8, Commissioner Cindy Riegel said that it’s “starting to feel like it’s getting stalled out again in P&Z.”
“We are really running up against some major development and growth in our community that doesn’t comply with the 2012 comprehensive plan and the board is really hoping we can see the draft as a decision-making body sooner than later,” Riegel continued.
Additionally, the county’s contract with Logan Simpson, the consulting firm that has been working with P&Z, does not include assisting an ad hoc committee in its scope.
Jen Gardener of Logan Simpson said she and her coworkers were “a little blindsided by the motion” by P&Z to create a subcommittee, but were willing to help in any way possible.
Commissioner Bob Heneage pointed out that P&Z is an advisory committee to the board of county commissioners, so it didn’t seem productive for P&Z to have its own advisory committee. He also noted that P&Z needs some organizational support, since the county has no full-time planning staff right now.
The commissioners agreed to submit a letter to P&Z outlining their concerns. Riegel attended the commission’s Nov. 9 meeting to make her case for forward momentum on the code, and explained to the P&Z commissioners that the BOCC will likely make more changes to the code based on another public hearing as well as recommendations from P&Z and guidance from legal counsel.
In the BOCC letter, the county commissioners outlined several options for P&Z, including a recommendation of approval, more work sessions, an advisory committee, or a joint work session with the BOCC.
The P&Z commissioners were receptive to the BOCC’s suggestions, saying they hadn’t been clear on how their recommendations would be treated by the decision-making body. P&Z agreed to bring a list of specific items and concerns to discuss with the BOCC in a yet-to-be-scheduled joint work session. P&Z decided not to form an ad hoc committee at this time, although it remains a future option.
P&Z chair Jack Haddox also informed the P&Z during the Nov. 9 meeting that he would be stepping down from the commission at the end of December. With the departure of Haddox and Taylor Cook, there will be two vacancies on the board, just as there were in May. The BOCC is responsible for appointing volunteers to the board. Current vice chair Bert Michelbacher was elected chair by his peers, and relatively new member Wyatt Penfold was elected vice chair.