Teton Raptor Center gets go-ahead from Planning Commission

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Teton Raptor Center received a green light from the county planning commission last night on its proposed redevelopment of the Hardeman Barns site in Wilson.

Commissioners voted 4-0 to allow TRC to move forward with plans to expand and rework the layout of buildings on the 2.5 acres of developable area encompassing the 26.82-acre property the Raptor Center recently purchased from the Jackson Hole Trust.

The end game called for an increase in square footage currently built out from 16,687 square feet to 17,524 square feet with an additional 2,000sf of ARUs (onsite employee housing) exempted from maximum floor area calculations. TRC is proposing to remove 11,416 square feet of existing structures on the subject parcel they say are unusable or unsuitable to their needs. They would retain 5,271 square feet of existing structures, including the scenic and iconic north barn, while adding 14,240 square feet of new structures including a new flight chamber and office space.

The large gothic style red barn would remain in place but be insulated and jacked up onto a better foundation. That would result in an increase in height of two feet from its current 36’ to 38’, where 30 feet is the maximum allowed in that zone but the barn has been a non-conforming structure for some time.

An initial meeting two weeks ago was so filled with public comment it lasted three hours before commissioners had even a chance to make a decision. Last night again saw more community involvement than usual for a planning meeting.

Commissioners decided to attach 16 conditions of approval to their vote. Next up for the Teton Raptor Center’s Condition Use Permit application is a visit to the Board of County Commissioners scheduled for February 6.

16 Conditions of Approval

  1. 1)  Raptor Center: Prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy on any new Building Permit, the existing septic system shall be decommissioned under direction of the Teton County Sanitarian and a permit shall be obtained from the appropriate authority for connection to the public sanitary sewer.

Analysis: Planning Director agrees. Although a permit for use, tying fulfillment of this condition to issuance of Certificate of Occupancy allows for more explicit and measurable terms than being tied to a change in intensity of use.

Planning Director: (Same as proposed by Raptor Center) Prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy on any new Building Permit, the existing septic system shall be decommissioned under direction of the Teton County Sanitarian and a permit shall be obtained from the appropriate authority for connection to the public sanitary sewer.

  • 2)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.

Analysis: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.

Planning Director: Prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for any new Building Permit on site, the access drive shall be widened to 20’ to the west of the existing access drive to provide emergency vehicle access and shall be paved. The parking lot may remain gravel with curb stops designating parking spaces.

  • 3)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report. Analysis: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.

Planning Director: Prior to installation of any signage, a Master Signage Plan shall be approved by the Planning Director.

  • 4)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report. Analysis: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.

Planning Director: Trash and recycling shall be stored inside a structure that is bear resistant and for purposes of shielding view and containing smells.

  • 5)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report. Analysis: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.

Planning Director: Maximum occupancy on site at any one time is limited to 100 people, including visitors, employees, volunteers, residents and any supplementary staff.

  • 6)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.

Analysis: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.

Planning Director: A maximum of twelve employees are allowed on site at any one time and a maximum of four of those employees are permitted to live on-site. Employees are defined as persons employed for wages or salary and excludes volunteers.

  • 7)  Raptor Center: Use of the pavilion and west yard is limited to educational programmatic use and bird rehabilitation and care. Educational programmatic use of the pavilion and west yard can take place from May 1 to October 30 between the hours of 10:00am and 4:00pm. Activity necessary for bird rehabilitation or care in the west yard may occur outside these dates and times.

Analysis: Planning Director agrees. Due to State/Federal regulations requiring that birds in rehabilitation not comingle with birds in the permanent education program, there may be times that the west yard is used for exercising birds and that this activity, with a bird and one or two handlers, has minimal impacts in terms of intensity of use. Planning Director disagrees that seasonal dates should be extended.

Planning Director: Use of the pavilion and west yard is limited to educational programmatic use and bird rehabilitation and care. Educational programmatic use of the pavilion and west yard can take place from June 1st to September 30th annually between 10:00AM and 4:00PM without use of any electronic amplification. Activity necessary for bird rehabilitation or care in the west yard may occur outside these dates and times.

  • 8)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report. Analysis: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.

Planning Director: In addition to condition #7, any outdoor event or outdoor educational programming on site shall occur between 9:00am and 9:00pm.

  • 9) Raptor Center: All public activity on site is limited to between the hours of 9:00am and 10:00pm. All staff operation and activity on site is limited to between the hours of 8:00am and 11:00pm. Residential activity associated with the ARU’s may occur outside these hours of operation. Staff activity necessary for bird rehabilitation or care may occur outside these hours, but only in raptor mews, the clinic, flight barn, and storage structures.

Analysis: The Planning Director agrees that different activities on site may be subject to different needs for hours of operation. Per the zone-specific use standards for Institutional uses in the R-2 zone, any outdoor use that is located less than 300 feet from a property line shall be limited to hours of operation of 9:00am to 9:00pm (as restricted in condition #8). Uses other than those included in condition #8 are limited to hours of operation of 9:00am to 11:00pm and hours of staff activities are directed to be established through the CUP process. The applicant is proposing to end all public activity on site at 10pm (an hour before the 11:00pm cut off required by the zone standards) in exchange for allowing staff to operate on site starting at 8:00am. The applicant has indicated that after hours rehabilitation and veterinary needs may require the flight barn and storage structures to be accessed in addition to mews and the clinic. More restrictive public or staff hours of operation could be applied to further limit intensity of use.

Planning Director: (Same as proposed by Raptor Center) All public activity on site is limited to between the hours of 9:00am and 10:00pm. All staff operation and activity on site is limited to between the hours of 8:00am and 11:00pm. Residential activity associated with the ARU’s may occur outside these hours of operation. Staff activity necessary for bird rehabilitation or care may occur outside these hours, but only in raptor mews, the clinic, flight barn, and storage structures.

  • 10)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report. Analysis: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report. Planning Director: Music is prohibited after 10:00pm.
  • 11)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.
    Analysis: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.
    Planning Director: Amplified music or sound is prohibited after 5:00pm.
  • 12)  Raptor Center: No change from January 8, 2018 Staff Report.
    Analysis: Clarification that only two bus parking spaces are proposed in application.

Planning Director: Parking shall only be allowed in designated areas within the parking lot and two bus parking spaces.

  • 13) Raptor Center: To use the property for charitable, educational, and/or community functions consistent with conservation, research, education, and wildlife rehabilitation. Notwithstanding condition 5, up to 4 events with more than 100 people will be allowed each year under a Special Event Permit.

Analysis: The Planning Director does not support allowing events to occur for groups over 100 people, but does recommend that all use on the property be limited to conservation, research, education, and wildlife rehabilitation activities to prohibit non-mission events from occurring, such as weddings, retreats, family reunions, facility rental for private parties, etc.

Planning Director: All use of the property is limited to charitable, educational, administrative and/or community functions consistent with conservation, research, education, and wildlife rehabilitation and the provision of workforce housing.

  • 14) Raptor Center: To submit a landscape plan for approval by the planning director at the time of the submittal of the first building permit application.

Analysis: The Planning Director has reviewed the conceptual landscaping plan provided on the applicant’s proposed site plan, but acknowledges that a final landscaping plan would aid in ensuring that use impacts are mitigated through landscape screening. The Planning Director would like to incorporate approval of a final landscaping plan as part of the Board of County Commissioners’ decision, as landscaping can serve to mitigate neighbor impacts.

Planning Director: Prior to issuance of this Conditional Use Permit, the Board of County Commissioners shall approve a final landscape plan designed to mitigate impacts of use to neighboring properties.

  • 15) Raptor Center: To erect a temporary tent within the easement prescribed building envelope for educational programmatic use until such time as the pavilion and west yard are available for such use.

Analysis: The Planning Director agrees that some flexibility on location of the temporary tent that is located seasonally between the North Barn and the Horse Barn is necessary to continue current levels of educational programming during phased construction. The Planning Director is recommending this condition be modified to include terms of expiration for this tent allowance.

Planning Director: The temporary tent erected seasonally between the North Barn and Horse Barn for educational programs is permitted to be moved within the building envelope south of the North Barn when construction and staging requires it to be relocated. Prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy on the North Barn or two years after the issuance of this Conditional Use Permit (whichever is sooner), the allowance for a temporary tent on-site for seasonal programmatic use shall expire.

The Planning Director is proposing the following condition in addition to those presented in the January 8, 2018 staff report:

  • 16) Planning Director: Prior to the issuance of any new Building Permit on site, the South Barn shall be preserved and relocated off site as indicated in applicant’s presentation of the applications.

Analysis: This recommended condition of approval is being added by the Planning Director in response to the applicant’s presentation at the January 8, 2018 public hearing when assurance was made that the south barn would be preserved and relocated rather than demolished. If Planning Commission recommendation or public perception is predicated on preservation of the south barn off-site, a condition should be added ensuring that the presented action be taken prior to redevelopment of the site.

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