Written by Janet Juroch
Garden Valley -A recent Planning and Zoning meeting was held in Garden Valley to discuss the CUP to build a planned resort involving three phases. Approval was needed to begin work on the first phase of building a gas station and convenience store at the top of the property located on the south side of Banks Lowman Road and close to the Middlefork Road intersection.
The proposed resort will feature a lodge, arts and crafts center, camping, cottage rentals and an RV park, a beer pub and other lodging facilities. There will also be produce markets and other shops. This will be looked at in three phases and each phase will meet before the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The concept was met with some opposition and others who encourage development of the property. Some people spoke out as the plan was conducive to the economy of the area, including new jobs and did not see any issues. Opposition concerns included increased traffic at the intersection of Banks Lowman and Middlefork Road, the potential noise levels and lighting that could be distracting. Others were concerned about the Wildlife Scenic By-way being disturbed with commercial businesses.
All conditions were carefully looked at and including dark sky lighting. Garden Valley Fire Chief John Delvalle spoke to make sure the first phase is set with infrastructure and fire codes to meet the demands of the next phases. This condition and a final approval from agencies including dark sky rules were finalized at the P&Z meeting that was held in Horseshoe Bend on February 16, 2017.