Editor's note -- this letter was sent to the Teton County Board of County Commissioners and the Teton Valley News.
Recently, it seems there have been a spate of campground proposals in Teton Valley. In the last three months, one was proposed in the middle of a neighborhood in the 4000/5000 S area, and two campgrounds are proposed or envisioned in Moose Creek, across the street from one another. The two Moose Creek proposals together could have a combined occupancy of nearly 300 people - more than the population of Tetonia. A 2017 application sought to add a “global destination center” and campground in critical habitat about a mile north of Hatches Corner in Tetonia. Also in Tetonia, we’ve learned the former BYU-Idaho retreat center in Badger Creek will be re-purposed as a campground for hundreds of people, despite the fact that, to our knowledge, the necessary permit applications have not been submitted to Teton County.
The Teton County Comprehensive Plan adopted in 2012 states the following as a key action: “Identify appropriate commercial uses for the County (i.e. low intensity, low volume with need for large amount of land).” We understand that the county is currently drafting a new code to address this, however we feel that action must now be taken to prevent a rush of campground proposals.
We, the undersigned, humbly request the county commission provide guidance to the planning staff as to what should be regarded as “low intensity, low volume with need for large amount of land.” As an interim measure, the County Commissioners could use the county’s residential standards for densities (e.g. 1 unit per 2.5 acres in the A-2.5 zone, 1 unit per 20 acres in the A-20 zone) and required studies (e.g. nutrient-pathogen study, traffic study, wildlife habitat study) as a guideline. This way, planning staffers can discourage folks from submitting applications for high-intensity campgrounds on small amounts of land, in established neighborhoods, and in critical wildlife habitat. Public opposition to such proposals have been thunderous and pervasive, and we feel it’s time for the county commission to be proactive.
Rob & Carol Hoffman Tetonia, Chris Palcic Tetonia, Camrin Dengal Tetonia, Cameron Mitchell Tetonia, Emmet McCarthy Tetonia, Josh White Tetonia, Sue Tyler Tetonia, Gene Morandi Tetonia, Sheilah Grebe Tetonia, Roland & Jenohn Schyler Tetonia, Andy Steele Tetonia, Eric Bjorkman Tetonia, Dan W. Hoke Tetonia, James I. Severance Tetonia, Nick & Ellen Besobrason Tetonia, Mike & Cricket Romanzi Tetonia, Klinton & Amanda Chambers Tetonia, Beage Atwater Tetonia, Jeff Miller Tetonia, Lenny Cattabriga Tetonia, Rick & Anpeytu Neier Victor, Kris & Bob Kaminski Victor, Myrdi Albitre Victor, Danielle Miller Victor, Michael La Prade Victor, Kris & Marcy Kasbaum Victor, Aaron & Johanna Murphy Victor, Todd & Shelly Jones Victor, Jean & James Kitchen Victor, Robert Rowen Victor, Elizabeth Cattel Victor, Leslie & Stanley Carrio Victor, Kathleen & Milton May Victor, Charlene & Steve O’Brian Victor and the board and staff of VARD