Comments on Responsible Growth Management

February 11, 2010

PD Comments in RED.

This is a markup of a County Planning Department Draft Policy document. 

 

Policy 2.1c Allow density bonuses in order to conserve open space

 

Top of page 31:” However, a Transferable Development Rights program that promotes increased density in existing neighborhoods in exchange for conservation easements in undeveloped areas is inconsistent with the community’s goal of existing neighborhood preservation.”

 

That’s exactly wrong. Exchanging permanent conservation in the rural county for increased development potential within Targeted Growth Areas in town is precisely what we HAVE voted to promote. While transferring these development rights into a Designated Stable Area might be inconsistent with neighborhood preservation goals, transferring them into Targeted Growth Areas accomplishes a number of community objectives; permanent conservation, predictability, workforce rental housing, Town as Heart. Simply using the term “existing neighborhoods” is misleading.

 

Failed recommendation #144, the basis for this mis-statement reads: “TDR’s are a viable option to include in this plan.” This recommendation referred to a mandated TDR program in which certain high value rural areas would not be able to develop beyond the 1DU/35 acres allowed by the state, replacing the PRD tool currently available. As it still exists, the non-contiguous PRD remains the only way to transfer development rights from the rural county to the town, whatever you want to call it. This is a very good thing.

 

As the employee generation data shows us, there is not enough residential development potential in the town to accommodate all the employees generated by the town’s existing commercial development potential. The county however, has a surplus. Since we have capped residential development in both the town and county, we have created a market for the transfer of the rural PRD development potential. The town can’t get any bigger without the county getting smaller. At the same time, we’ve increased the predictability of future development within the town in Targeted Growth Areas, and incentivized permanent conservation by rural landowners other than those wealthy enough to be looking for nothing more than a tax writeoff. All of these goals can be met using the same non-contiguous PRD tool already on the books without creating a mandated TDR program. In my mind, it’s the most progressive and significant manifestation of our months of work on this plan.

 

Some additional items that need attention:

 

Policy 2.2a:  I had a phone conversation with Bill Schrieber about some of the areas outside of the Teton Village resort boundary that had always been considered additional “room to grow” but were not specifically included in the resort master plan. What happens to these areas if this language is included in the plan? Some discussion might be helpful. The area in question is in the FLUP District 9, page 105, middle right of the map in orange, single family mixed use type.

 

Policy 2.3a: mid paragraph, “Throughout Teton County future development will focus on maintenance of a predominance of the natural environment over the built environment…” Not the case in Targeted Growth Areas in town, which are also part of Teton County. Change to “Throughout the unincorporated county…”

 

Policy 2.3b: mid paragraph: “… development in town must be consistent with existing contextual scale and design.” Again, not in Targeted Growth Areas. Add the words “in Designated Stable Areas.” to the end of the sentence.

 

Stratgeies 2.1: Incentive tools to eliminate/ update- why PRD? It has worked so far to create permanent conservation, and as previously stated, has been given new incentives to use it to address several goals. Same with PMUD- now that density bonuses are transferred, not additive, why change it? (except to designate where it’s appropriate.)

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