Oftentimes I receive questions from prospective buyers, (sometimes sellers) as to what they can do with their property, or perhaps how they can advertise their property. When it comes to the city municipalities, they have their own set of zoning regulations and Zoning Maps such as the cities of Driggs and Victor. Each Zone has its own set of code requirements, and you can navigate this information relatively easy on each city’s respective website. The cities, however, take up a very small portion of the usable land in Teton County. The vast majority of private land is in the county itself.
At first glance, the county has only a few zones when compared with Driggs or Victor. In a nutshell, these are agriculture, commercial, manufacturing, public lands and the city areas of impact. Of this acreage, only a very small amount of the county contains commercial or manufacturing zoning, the vast majority is agriculture, with 2.5 to 20 acre density requirements. As long as there isn’t anything abnormal going on, you can subdivide acreage through the formal subdivision process in these areas as long as the finished product meets the density requirement in that zone. Each parcel can then have a house and a guest house, as well as a well and septic system, assuming it meets Department of Health requirements. Each parcel can water up to 1/2 acre per Idaho’s water regulations.
So, the question is, and the point of this article, can you do anything on your agricultural zoned property other than a single family residence with guest house (or of course agriculture)?
The answer is yes, as long as you conform to the land use requirements in the county. In a sense, the name of the zoning is a bit deceiving. It leads most to believe that only agriculture is allowed, and some even question the ability to have a home. Since we talked about that above, let’s talk about some of the other allowed, or allowable uses.
The County’s existing land use regulations are split into three categories. They are:
- Permitted by Right
- Permitted with Conditions
- Permitted with Conditional Use
In a nutshell, if you are trying to do something that is permitted by right, you don’t have to ask in most cases. If it is permitted with conditions, obviously you need to make sure that the conditions are met, and the same rules apply. If it is permitted with a conditional-use permit, there are special requirements that vary based on the nature of whatever it is you are trying to do. Some interesting ones; a home daycare is permitted for up to 6 children, and 7 to 10 children is permitted with conditions. An aviation field is permitted in agricultural zones with a conditional-use permit. A church, or place of worship can be permitted with a conditional-use permit. The list goes on.
Many sectors of retail, manufacturing, and even some residential types are still limited to commercially zoned areas such as convenience stores, bakeries, bars, beauty shops, golf courses, grocery stores, hotels, restaurants – you get the idea. In a way this makes sense, and most of these services would make more sense located within city limits anyway.
You can find the County’s land use Matrix table beginning on page 29 of title 8 of the Teton Valley code, zoning regulations. That link is below.
Teton Valley Code (see Chapter 8)