Controversy over a New LDS Church in Teton Valley Idaho

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with West Group Real Estate

I did not imagine there would be a time in Teton County Idaho that the proposal of building a new Church would be controversial. The LDS Church proposed a new Church House along the Highway just North of Victor that would provide services for people from county Road 4000 south to the Wyoming State line.

churchWhat is the controversy? Some feel that a church is not a good fit for the scenic corridor along the Highway. Some had issue with the height of the steeple. The church would like a steeple that is higher than the currently allowed height restriction.

County commissioners voted to deny the application 2 to 1. News Channel 8 story on the County’s decision.

My thoughts:

·         A church of any denomination would be a great thing to have in the scenic corridor.

·         Although one Commissioner stated traffic as an issue – Sunday mornings are not a busy time for traffic at this location.

·         In a time of economic hardship – let’s embrace new construction.

·         When a good use is not consistent with the comprehensive plan – change the plan.

With so many problems facing us in our community, our country and our world, why is this an issue?

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Bob Crane 04/23/2012 11:52 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Idaho Teton County
Tags:
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idaho
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Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Elizabeth - Perhaps. I hope not. This little valley was settled by Mormons. Most folks that think Mormonism is a "Cult" do not know much about the religion. I am for Churches, regardless of denomination, and I am for them to be where they can be seen. I just feel the architecture of churches are pleasant to look at and the values for which they stand is something to be proud of.

Apr 23, 2012 01:17 PM #11
Ambassador
838,940
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Really. Can't they find anything better to be concerned about?

Apr 23, 2012 01:25 PM #12
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Connie - Yes Really, crazy world we live in.

Apr 23, 2012 01:46 PM #13
Rainer
139,101
Chris "The Loan Ranger" McBrearty
The Lending Company - Rancho Bernardo, CA
FHA, VA, USDA, Loan Officer and Educator

I say as long as they follow the rules then build away. New jobs and folks having a place of worship never hurt anybody.

Apr 23, 2012 02:46 PM #14
Rainmaker
544,091
Gretchen & Mel Ahrens
ColumbiaGorgeFSBO.com - Hood River, OR

Wow, what next? I agree that maybe the height restriction should be enforced, but any tastefully designed church should be acceptable. Are there any design regulations for the corridor that the church would violate? Otherwise, I think they should go for it!

Gretchen

Apr 23, 2012 04:32 PM #15
Ambassador
1,877,827
Judi K Barrett
Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma - Idabel, OK
Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB

Harley, do you think that it had anything to do with the denomination that was requesting?  

Apr 23, 2012 06:14 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,273,593
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% o... - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

I wonder if they'd be opposed to a cross of the same height.  It really is a steeple and doesn't really draw that much attention.  Sad that the height restriction was an issue of contention. 

Apr 23, 2012 07:24 PM #17
Anonymous
Anonymous
Tony

The CUP was not disapproved because of steeple height as the variance for the steeple was withdrawn before the BOCC public hearing!  As commissioner Benedict (D) stated as he was about to render his deny decision, he "Learned more about the LDS Church during the hearing than he did reading the application", and that he could not permit the amount of activity the LDS members would be participating in.  How's that for denying religious practice and constitutional first amendment rights?!  It says something about the liberals in the community when a church building is denied (Victor impact area) but an over-height vodka distillery is approved in the scenic corridor (north-end Driggs impact area).  VARD colluded with the 2 BOCC democrats to deny the church CUP but where were they for the distillery?  It's high time to vote out the corruption!  See you May 15th at your polling places!

Apr 23, 2012 09:38 PM #18
Ambassador
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Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9663

Harley, it is unfortunate that many of the ills in the world today are due to the same people who are pro distillery and anti Church.

Apr 23, 2012 11:49 PM #19
Rainmaker
722,119
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

The church is going to generate traffic.  And, that is good.  More people participating keeps them from needing the products of the distellery.

Apr 24, 2012 05:23 AM #20
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Hey Chris - I believe in rules. I also feel if rules do not make sense CHANGE THEM. A development seminar I attended had a speaker that said if you have a great plan and it doesn't fit the ordinance - change the ordinance, his recommendation to P&Z. I think Regulation is easy to create and hard to change.

Apr 24, 2012 06:34 AM #21
Rainmaker
346,634
Sondra Meyer
Star View Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Horse Property Specialist

Wow....they should be much happier they are dealing with a church rather than a Walmart box store, a Hooters, or some sort of adult entertainment store.  (Not placing Walmarts in the same category as the other two....but those are the types of places that generally draws huge controversy not a church. 

Apr 24, 2012 06:34 AM #22
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Gretchen, the problem with some regulation is that it is subject to too much interpretation. We have conditional use permits here for a lot of things. CUPs are negotiated approval and as different powers come into office the ordinances are interpreted differently. Good planning is clear and easy to understand. Thanks for the comment.

Apr 24, 2012 06:36 AM #23
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Judi, I hope not. We should have freedoms of religion in the USA.

Apr 24, 2012 06:37 AM #24
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Carla - There are height restriction variances granted for wind turbines. Agricultural grain silos are allowed up to 60 feet. The height of the steeple is not the real issue.

Apr 24, 2012 06:39 AM #25
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Tony, thank you for the clarification. I hope the people of our county will become more informed about the real facts and quit listening to the propaganda machine of VARD.

Apr 24, 2012 06:42 AM #26
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Bob - For the record. I am pro distillery and pro Church. This is America - I thought we had the right to choose.

Apr 24, 2012 06:43 AM #27
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Hey Ron - Some will drink Vodka on Saturday and take Sacrament on Sunday. :)

Apr 24, 2012 06:44 AM #28
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

Thank you all for your comments. The most important thing today is to become aware of the issues and take part in our government at every level. Vote - it is the greatest opportunity for your voice to be heard. If you don't vote do you have the right to complain?

Apr 24, 2012 06:46 AM #29
Rainmaker
116,583
Harley Wilcox
West Group Real Estate - Victor, ID
Harley Wilcox

EXACTLY  Sondra. Thank you.

Apr 24, 2012 06:47 AM #30
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Rainmaker
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Harley Wilcox

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