2 episodes

Teton County has lots of lots - vacant lots, that is. Over 8,000 to be exact. Most of these lots are vacant, and though the real estate market has recovered, many of these lots are located in unfinished subdivisions that have gone bankrupt, or are not desirable.

Teton County has so many lots, that if current building rates continue, there are enough lots to supply us for 52 years. But even though these vacant lots exist, do we want them to all be built upon? Not if we want to protect Teton Valley’s rural character. So, what can we do about it?

Well, the Teton County Commissioners have directed county staff to do 3 things that could increase or decrease the number of lots in Teton Valley, and to start, we should make sure that we don’t add tons of more lots to the tons of lots we already have. Here’s what the commissioners want to do:

Many people unknowingly bought illegal lots between 1994 and 2014. Since these lots were created improperly, the county will not issue building permits. As such, the Teton County commission wants to find a way to give people the right to build on these lots. If this happens, this means that even more vacant lots will be added in Teton Valley, and possibly in places that are environmentally sensitive.

The Teton County Commissioners have directed staff to come up with a fast-track subdivision process for small subdivisions of 4 lots or less. This could make it easier for developers to create more subdivisions, and thus, create more lots.

Finally, the Teton County Commissioners have directed staff to reinstate expired development agreements for existing subdivisions. A development agreement is a contract between a developer and the county whereby the developer is required to build roads and other infrastructure within a subdivision by a certain time. If developers don’t meet their end of the deal, then, in theory, the county takes away their subdivision approval. When developers default on the development agreements, that gives the county leverage to negotiate with the developer to reduce the number of lots. However, the County Commissioners want to explore ways to make it easier for developers to renew their contracts. In other words, the county wants to decrease the leverage it already has over developers who broke their promises.

In the coming weeks, we’re going to explain Valley Advocate’s position on each issue. Our position on each issue has a single purpose - let’s make it so Teton Valley doesn’t always have lots of lots, so Teton Valley doesn’t become overbuilt, and so that Teton Valley doesn’t lose its special character forever.

podcast – Valley Advocates For Responsible Development podcast – Valley Advocates For Responsible Development

    • Government

Teton County has lots of lots - vacant lots, that is. Over 8,000 to be exact. Most of these lots are vacant, and though the real estate market has recovered, many of these lots are located in unfinished subdivisions that have gone bankrupt, or are not desirable.

Teton County has so many lots, that if current building rates continue, there are enough lots to supply us for 52 years. But even though these vacant lots exist, do we want them to all be built upon? Not if we want to protect Teton Valley’s rural character. So, what can we do about it?

Well, the Teton County Commissioners have directed county staff to do 3 things that could increase or decrease the number of lots in Teton Valley, and to start, we should make sure that we don’t add tons of more lots to the tons of lots we already have. Here’s what the commissioners want to do:

Many people unknowingly bought illegal lots between 1994 and 2014. Since these lots were created improperly, the county will not issue building permits. As such, the Teton County commission wants to find a way to give people the right to build on these lots. If this happens, this means that even more vacant lots will be added in Teton Valley, and possibly in places that are environmentally sensitive.

The Teton County Commissioners have directed staff to come up with a fast-track subdivision process for small subdivisions of 4 lots or less. This could make it easier for developers to create more subdivisions, and thus, create more lots.

Finally, the Teton County Commissioners have directed staff to reinstate expired development agreements for existing subdivisions. A development agreement is a contract between a developer and the county whereby the developer is required to build roads and other infrastructure within a subdivision by a certain time. If developers don’t meet their end of the deal, then, in theory, the county takes away their subdivision approval. When developers default on the development agreements, that gives the county leverage to negotiate with the developer to reduce the number of lots. However, the County Commissioners want to explore ways to make it easier for developers to renew their contracts. In other words, the county wants to decrease the leverage it already has over developers who broke their promises.

In the coming weeks, we’re going to explain Valley Advocate’s position on each issue. Our position on each issue has a single purpose - let’s make it so Teton Valley doesn’t always have lots of lots, so Teton Valley doesn’t become overbuilt, and so that Teton Valley doesn’t lose its special character forever.

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