Imagine if your neighbor proposed a massive development that doesn’t align with our community’s vision of a better future – as reflected in the Comprehensive Plan – or our existing land use rules, which are in place to advance our community’s vision of a better future. You might be a bit anxious, but confident we have rules in place to prevent developments like this.
Consider how you’d feel if your neighbor then tried to ram this development through using a campaign of confusion that misrepresents what they’re currently allowed to do on their property, the impacts of their proposed development, and the process they should go through to get this proposed development approved. You might be more than a little concerned, and start working together with your neighbors in response.
Think about how you’d feel if instead of engaging in a factual debate about the issues surrounding their proposed development, your neighbor then took out spiteful ads attacking you for asking questions about their proposal. You might be ready to call shenanigans.
It’s time to call shenanigans on the proposed Bar J development.
Here’s the deal, but be forewarned, this gets a bit wonky.
In 1977, at the very same meeting they approved the County’s first Comprehensive Plan, the Teton County Board of Commissioners approved a special use permit for the Bar J Chuckwagon operation. This special use permit very specifically only allowed the development and impacts associated with the Chuckwagon operation that still operates today.
Fast-forward forty years to the owners of the Bar J Chuckwagon proposing a 69-unit high-end condo development on the site. There are so many problems with this application, it’s hard to know where to start, but let’s give it a shot.
First, for this application to move forward it would require a Comprehensive Plan amendment as the Bar J is in a rural area and not in a Complete Neighborhood.
Second, this application should go through the zone change process to go from NC – Neighborhood Conservation, Single Family, to a multi-family zone that allows 3.2 units per acre, and the applicant has failed to apply for a zone change. The site has a rural zone designation which only allows 1 unit per 3 acres, or 7 units total on 21 acres, but the applicant proposes 69 units on 21 acres, a build out which is not allowed in rural zones, nor in the NC zone. Instead, the applicant is trying to go through the master plan amendment process (which isn’t in any way intended for this type of development).
Third, even if a master plan amendment were the correct process for consideration of this change in permitted development of the site, which it is not, the application misrepresents the development allowed under the existing master plan by greatly exaggerating the development the existing master plan allows and then comparing the proposed development to that grossly exaggerated misrepresentation.
Fourth, even if a master plan amendment was the correct process for consideration of the proposed change (which again, it is not), the applicant does not measure all the impacts of the proposed development compared to the current master plan’s impact analysis, as recorded on the property in the conditions of approval, which were the findings of fact for that approval. Therefore, in addition to misrepresenting what is allowed, the applicant’s impact analysis is incomplete and misleading.
Fifth, and finally, the current master plan limits the development very specifically to the uses and buildings the Board of County Commissioners approved at the time, and the proposed master plan changes don’t comply with that approval, which would have never been made without those conditions.
If you want to get even deeper into the wonky details of why the County Commission should deny the Bar J application, click here to read the Alliance’s comments.
Look, despite all this wonkiness, this really isn’t that complicated. The proposed Bar J development doesn’t align with our community’s vision of a better future – as reflected in the Comprehensive Plan – or our existing land use rules, which are in place to advance our community’s vision of a better future.