News Release From the Wood River Land Trust
Wild spaces, happy places, and a place to call home are all essential to protecting our way of life here in the Wood River Valley. The balance of conservation and development is a tricky one, but is an area the Wood River Land Trust is familiar with. Quigley Canyon in Hailey was once slated to become a sprawling suburban development until the Wood River Land Trust worked with the developer to condense development – ensuring that homes would still be built to accommodate the growing population while also preserving the majority of the property for future generations.
And now we can add another success story! The Wood River Land Trust has worked with Blaine County and Anna Mathieu, a real estate broker with Windermere Real Estate SV to introduce Gerardo Perez Cano and Marlene Grimaldo to a brand new program within Blaine County.
This new program utilizes a technique called a “transfer of development rights (TDR)”. A transfer of development rights is a zoning tool used to permanently protect land with conservation value (such as farmland, critical habitat, or other natural or cultural resources) by redirecting development that could occur on this land to another area better planned to accommodate growth and development. Through this program, Perez and Grimaldo were able to transfer the development potential of the Wood River Land Trust’s Church Farm Property (located out by Timmerman Junction) onto their 16-acre parcel of land. Gerardo and Marlene are now able to subdivide their 2 lots into 4 4-acre lots, which will allow them to build houses for their children.
Marlene and Gerardo elaborate on their experience with this new program: “Anna really helped us with the whole process. From understanding and evaluating the TDR opportunity, to working with the Land Trust to hunt down TDRs, through working with the county and Galena Engineering to make sure we understood the process, and finally, in securing the various property rights needed, we couldn’t have done it without her help.”
Blaine County has implemented this TDR program with a goal of increasing density close to town while keeping the land in the Bellevue triangle as open space. This recent use of TDR’s in Gerardo and Marlene’s case has ensured that 40 acres of land in the Bellevue Triangle is under permanent protection. In addition to other conservation tools, the sale of these development rights has enabled the Wood River Land Trust to permanently protect its 131-acre Church Farm Property, which is also enrolled into a federal Wetlands Reserve Program conservation easement.
The Wood River Valley is growing and the need for more housing is urgent, and yet we also need to be thinking about smart growth, intentional development, and protecting the critical places that make our home unique.
For 25 years, the Wood River Land Trust has worked diligently to protect the land, water, wildlife and recreational opportunities that make the Wood River Valley a place where you can connect…or disconnect. Our mission is to protect and sustain the treasured landscapes and life-giving waters of the Wood River Valley and inspire love for this special place for generations to come. For more information please visit woodriverlandtrust.org or call our offices at 208.788.3947
Interested in selling a TDR and putting a conservation easement on your property? Want to add density to your property through the purchase of a TDR? – Call Anna!