All Future Commercial Property To Be Reviewed By Design Commission

Star Valley town planners expect some new commercial development will be outside current limits


Those dedicating their time to the Architectural Design Review Commission for Star Valley wanted to have a say on all future commercial development in town.

When the commission was originally created, it established that only commercial buildings within 1,000 feet of Highway 260 would be reviewed.

Bernadette Heath, chair of the ADR Commission, spoke at Tuesday night's council meeting of the desire to review all future commercial buildings to avert bias and possible conflict.

She said that although the town has no commercial buildings outside of the 1,000-foot restriction at the current time, that "it will happen."

Heath said that the design review guidelines should apply to all future commercial and industrial development.

"We're saving ourselves some wear and tear (with) some advanced thinking here," she said.

Heath said that the design review guidelines, which constituted a hang-up for Vice Mayor Randy White and councilor Art Lloyd, will be presented to the council at an upcoming meeting.

Heath insisted that the commission's objective was not to create strict or limiting guidelines for developers, but simply to ensure that buildings were constructed with an attractive outward appearance.

Mayor Chuck Heron championed the purpose of the commission, saying that its intent was not to hamper building.

"It's to make sure good building practice and pleasing exterior appearance is there," he said.

The majority of the council agreed.

After a motion to table the issue failed, the council voted 4-2 in favor of amending the town code so that the design of all forthcoming businesses will be subjected to review.

White and Lloyd voted in dissent and councilor Mary Ann Kotelnicki was not present at the meeting.

Justice Facilities Discussed

Gila County Supervisors Tommie Martin and Shirley Dawson, along with other county notables including county manager Steve Besich, Sheriff's office chief deputy Tom Melcher, Payson Jail Commander Jim Eskew and members of the jails committee Ken Volz and Ronnie McDaniel, were on hand to discuss concept plans for the new county justice facilities.

Martin summarized financing options for the facilities, saying that tax money was "the only dependable revenue source for the county."

Martin said that if voters fail to approve a half-cent sales tax increase in November, that the county will be forced to raise primary property taxes.

Heron said that there is no question that the facilities are needed. Instead, he focused on the location, which is the major issue on everyone's mind.

"The facilities are definitely necessary," he said.

"The big thing it comes down to is location."

Martin left an artist rendering of the site plans and a comprehensive record of the jails committee's work with town clerk Sarah Luckie. They can be viewed at the Star Valley Town Hall.

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