Island Park / Yellowstone Private Airport Development

Bob

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If anyone is interested in this. This is what we are curently fighting here in Island Park, Idaho. This about 13 miles west of the Yellowstone Park boundary. The runway is being built to accomodate small Jets (no commercial). And homes would be mostly megamansions with runway access. There is a Utube link to watch the commision meeting on Monday the 18th. This is a preliminary , this is what we want to do meeting. There will have to be another for public comment.... which I would like everyone to write in against the project when it occurs...
It borders a large tract that the nature conservancy owns, Is adjacent to wetlands, very near to the headwaters of the Henrys Fork of the Snake River, and is a area integral to the GYE. All we need is more people density, pollution, noise......
There is also a Motel wanting to build on the highway next to this property. For some reason developers are now thinking Island Park could be the stirring of another Jackson.

The preview we have received from the county.

For those wanting to listen to the presentation this is the YouTube link
https://bit.ly/3l0BkXG You will be able to view the meeting once it has started Monday, March 18th about 6 p.m.

Private Airfield is discussion added to P&Z agenda for Monday night​

THIS AFTERNOON FREMONT COUNTY PLANNING AND BUILDING DEPARTMENT NOTIFIED INVOLVED PROPERTY OWNERS OF ISLAND PARK OF AN ADDITIONAL INFORMATION DISCUSSION ADDED TO THE NEW BUSINESS AGENDA FOR THE FREMONT COUNTY PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION MEETING FOR MONDAY, MARCH 18 AT 6 P.M. AT 125 NORTH BRIDGE ST. ST. ANTHONY.​

The addition is added after the previously scheduled presentation by Leanne Yancey.
Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting 1. Call to Order, Welcome, conflicts in agenda, ex-parte communications. 2. Approval of Minutes: 2.1. None 3. New Business: 3.1 Leanne Yancey – Concerns about proposed land use changes and rezoning relevant to the Henry’s Lake Flats in Island Park 3.2 Doug Button – pre-application discussion with P&Z about potential private airfield development near Island Park. 3.3 Final Plat – Fair Dinkum (#24-015) – Action Item 4. Short Plats: 4.1 Baum Hossiner Pond Properties (#23-086) 4.2 Red Z Inc (#23-033) 5. Public Hearings: 5.1. Appeal: Donald Anderson and others, appealing Bullfrog Subdivision (#24-012) – Action Item 5.2. Zone Change- Dell J Barney – (#24-017) – Action Item 5.3. Comprehensive Plan Amendment – Dell J Barney (#24-018) – Action Item 5.4. Zone Change-Dell J Barney – (#24-019) – Action Item 6. Other Business: 5.1- Discuss comprehensive plan policies (Time Permitting) – Action Item

Island Air Park Narrative- Fremont County Sketch Plan
The subject property is a 431-acre parcel located in Island Park, Idaho. The property is located approximately 6,400 feet above sea level with the approximate center of the project located at 44.53865671 degrees, -111.32315652 degrees in decimal degrees. (Figure 1; aerial photo). The property is owned by ImperialInvestments, a Montana Limited liability Company, but is in the process of being transferred into the Island Air Park Limited Liability Company, an Idaho LLC, owned by Kevin and Douglas Button. The property was purchased in 2022 after an initial wetlands assessment was conducted in November of 2021 with a strong indication that the majority of the property were not regulated wetlands as defined by the US Army Corp of Engineers, but would require a complete Aquatic Resources Delineation Report such that the Buttons could obtain Section 404 permit(s) if activities impacted regulated areas that could not be avoided .This study was conducted in July of 2021,with the results submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers in December of that year.
In summary, of the 431-acre property, only 27.72 acres were determined wetlands and the remaining 403.28acres were not regulated. These studies were conducted by Kagel Environmental, one of the premier environmental engineering firms in the United States. As a result of a precedent case heard by the United States Supreme Court involving wetlands, our study was put in a holding pattern until last fall when we were given a favorable review by the Army Core of Engineers.
The property was purchased in 2021 with the express purpose of placing a private runway with a small number of private hangar homes, and private hangars on either side of the runway. The current zoning density allows for 120 homes or lots on a parcel this size, without community water and sewer and 150 with the bonus. It was never the vision for this property to create a dense population of dwellings, most of which, in the current regulatory environment, would inevitably become short term rentals. Our preference was to instill a sense of openness and privacy by limiting lot size to a minimum of 1.77 acres and rising to 1O lots of 22-65 acres+ parcels. (Figure 2 -subdivision plat) A runway located in the center travelling South to North of approximately 5200 feet in length would be accessed by taxi ways, or directly from residences.
Access to the development will be via two private access roads off of Highway 20. One at the very South edge of the property and the other in the North half of the property frontage on Hwy 20, approximately halfway between the shared property line with the Island Park Cemetery and the North property line shared with the State of Idaho 450 acre parcel. Both accesses would be Idaho State Transportation compliant with deceleration lanes approved by IDT. (Figure 3 - Entrance lanes).
Traditional placement of home fronts typically face major transportation arteries, but in this development, they will face the rear or Easterly direction. This will have the effect of limiting the visual impact of movement in the development. Added to this will be the placement of fir trees inside the property line adjacent to Hwy 20 but placed in a common area or 20-foot-wide open space controlled by the association. Trees will be placed such that a wall of trees will be visible from the highway in five to ten years. Trees will be maintained by the HOA.
The local FAA office in Helena MT approved the FAA7480 from with no restrictions noted and approval was granted on June 12, 2023 (the County was given a copy). The 5200-foot runway will be hard surfaced and maintained by the HOA. The property is bounded on the North by 450 acres of State of Idaho land, and on the South by 150 acres of State of Idaho land. In both directions, the nearest other property, that is not State land, is 2600 feet or one half of a mile away. All aircraft will be hanged at night or securely fastened to the ground. Runway access will be restricted to owners or lessors of property of the HOA. Courtesy access for emergency situations are being evaluated for such organizations as LifeFlight, Law Enforcement Agencies, and Firefighting Agencies, but no agreements or decisions have been made at this time.
The majority of the Eastern edge of the property line will be dedicated open space along the North to South boundary with future plans to provide environmentally sensitive walking paths constructed- of environmentally friendly materials and equipped with occasional benches as well as monitored and bearproof waste receptacles. The possibility of having days open to the public are under consideration, as well as the possibility of constructing a youth fishing pond with specific public access days.
There are 674 Airparks in the Continental United States and 176 of them are private. There are sixteen airparks in Idaho alone. It is our intention to make the Island Airpark one of the premier developments of its kind in the State and an asset to the community; by limiting the number of homes allowed on 431 acres of prime development land; by establishing and promoting environmentally sound protocols in the management of the community; by striving to protect the groundwater and promoting the sense of community among its owners and guests.

For those wanting to listen to the presentation this is the YouTube link
https://bit.ly/3l0BkXG You will be able to view the meeting once it has started Monday, March 18th about 6 p.m.
 
Mostly to make access convenient for the the mega-wealthy. :mad: Looks like they got OK from the Army Core of Engineers and got around the wetlands restrictions. All the right phrases like "environmentally friendly materials". County probably thinking - good, more tax income. Be happy to send a note against.
 
Nobody should be allowed to develop their private property as they see fit. It should always be put up to a public vote, and private landowners should just eff off.
 
Not that I think these change dot org things do any good.... here is a link for one up here.

 
Nobody should be allowed to develop their private property as they see fit. It should always be put up to a public vote, and private landowners should just eff off.
Respectfully, that's a bad-faith argument and the sardonic tone is completely unwarranted. I'd expect better from a generally respectful and thoughtful place like BCP, and from a long-time/valued member like yourself.

I think just about everybody except for the farthest-left fringe thinks that people should, in general, be able to develop their own property as they see fit. Where it gets tricky is that the impacts of an airport (noise, overhead traffic) inevitably spill over property lines and affect neighboring public/private lands. In such case, wouldn't a community conversation be warranted before proceeding? The whole idea behind having local/small-scale government is so these kinds of things can be negotiated. What if a nearby landowner can't sleep because jets roar overhead at 2am every morning? Wouldn't that at minimum impact his property value were he to sell in the future?

I have no view into whether this particular development is appropriate or not, but I am certain that we can't arrive at the right answer with a simple appeal to either side's ideology (e.g. without actually considering the facts of the case). And I'm even more confident that a sarcastic, dismissive tone toward people we disagree with does absolutely nothing to heal the fracture lines that exist in our society.
 
First off...I believe a landowner should be able to use his property as you want ...providing its within ordinances and laws and youre not infringing on other property owners.
And I believe development is a necessary evil, but a airstrip with house is for a weathly, playground type.. not the general population.
The developer has stated he bought (in 2022) this stricty to build a fly in development. He has owned it for no other reason, so its not like he had a interest in land ownership here. Money is the only driver in this case. Island Park will never be a Sun Valley or Jackson .....there is not the draw, the Park is it and that is really W Yellowstone. There are no fancy, restaurants, bars, boutiques, no ski areas. It is wildlife, forest oriented.

Henrys Fork flats is on the Nature Concervancy's protect list. They have already purchased about 1500 ac in the area. (not that I like conservation groups much) The flats comprise marshlands with dry land mixed, state Federal and private mixed. It is also the headwaters of the Snake (Henrys Fork) It has been historically grazing land. It is about 12 miles to the Park boundary. Even tho we are not talking about a commercial airport, The airstrip would put planes flying directly over the existing Island Park center, circling patterns would put planes over an even larger area of residential. There is a State airstrip about 4 miles away, the jetport in W Yellowstone and a airstrip in Ashton about 30 miles away. There are propsed 10 lots of 20ac or more (can you say megamansions) and 9 lots of 5 ac and 10 lots of 2 ac.

People can have a differing opinion.... thats a right and and a good one.
 
There is a State airstrip about 4 miles away, the jetport in W Yellowstone and a airstrip in Ashton about 30 miles away.
Those facts alone should be enough to deny permission for another airfield, especially if the state airfield can handle private jets. I did not see this included in the petition, though what they've done seems reasonable.

Not sure what the outcome of the Mar 15 meeting was but hope there's a coordinated effort with money behind it to oppose this. Developers put a lot of money into legalizing what they have to do. A university near me took 5 years to build a stadium with mega-lights adjacent to wetlands and a popular state park. Residents fought it (traffic, wetlands, lights, noise, loss of property value...) but the university had too much money to get what they wanted.
 
Respectfully, that's a bad-faith argument and the sardonic tone is completely unwarranted. I'd expect better from a generally respectful and thoughtful place like BCP, and from a long-time/valued member like yourself.

I think just about everybody except for the farthest-left fringe thinks that people should, in general, be able to develop their own property as they see fit.
:lol: Call me far-left, because I took that comment literally when I first read it. I'd rather associate with someone like that than someone that thinks buying land gives them some inherent right to impact their neighbors however they see fit.

There are lots of grey areas when it comes to land use/development and normally reasonable arguments on either side, but this project is a particularly egregious example of a mentality I have no patience for.

We all agree that there are lots of things more important than money, so it's a pretty lazy argument to say, "Well, they have more money, so let them do whatever they want."
 
:lol: Call me far-left, because I took that comment literally when I first read it. I'd rather associate with someone like that than someone that thinks buying land gives them some inherent right to impact their neighbors however they see fit.

There are lots of grey areas when it comes to land use/development and normally reasonable arguments on either side, but this project is a particularly egregious example of a mentality I have no patience for.

We all agree that there are lots of things more important than money, so it's a pretty lazy argument to say, "Well, they have more money, so let them do whatever they want."

I think you misinterpreted me too. I'm saying the exact opposite of "Well, they have more money, so let them do whatever they want."

Do you believe both of these?

1) Land ownership should give the owner a certain degree of control over how the land is used.
2) That right is not absolute. Building codes, environmental regulations, and the permitting processes can and should restrict certain activities.

If so, we are in agreement. :D
 
Yes.... But I'd add you should not do things to infringe on other property owners.... Like putting a shop in residential. Or in this case creating noise pollution/visual pollution of aircraft in landing patterns over houses. Now if you build your house near a existing airstrip.... That's different. Of course this could addressed in codes. Property in question up here needs a rezone to commercial for the airstrip...so that's a complete change in what it was.
 
I think you misinterpreted me too. I'm saying the exact opposite of "Well, they have more money, so let them do whatever they want."

Do you believe both of these?

1) Land ownership should give the owner a certain degree of control over how the land is used.
2) That right is not absolute. Building codes, environmental regulations, and the permitting processes can and should restrict certain activities.

If so, we are in agreement. :D
Total agreement. Might have worded it badly, but was directing that towards the same mentality you were "calling out".

Just meant I'm more likely to get along w/ the hypothetical person against any private property rights than the hypothetical person for absolute private property rights. (Edited to add: - though they're probably both pretty insufferable. :lol:)
 
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