Double rainbow over Swan Valley Idaho
In 1962 as a child my family went
through Carmel California and after my exclaimation how wonderful the place was, my mother explained to
me that it was against the law to cut down a tree in
the town and it was so beautiful I wondered why every
town didn't do that.
A few years later my hometown did
enact all kinds of restricted zoning like Carmel's and
now I couldn't afford to move back there if I wanted
to. This town is now populated with what they call "Grey
Gold", rich retired people that ran up the property values
so high that native born could no longer afford to live there.
I have lived in many resort towns since, and I have
noticed a trend. I am attracted to them when they are
still little, quaint and undiscovered, but it usually
isn't long before word spreads about the next great place.
The newcomers arrive and they marvel at the
scenery, but yearn for a classier looking town. Then comes
the planning and zoning like they had back home. Everyone's
property value goes up and everyone is happy.
The town no longer looks like an old farm
town; it starts looking like cool mountain town that
will soon be on the cover of Outside Magazine. Lycra
clad bicyclers start outnumbering cowboys and farmers.
It looks like a whole different place and it is. Planning
and zoning has made a very attractive place for people
who used to never live there and the children of the
locals can no longer afford to.
Autumn color at Palisades Reservior beneth the Snake River Range in Swan Valley Idaho
The lycra clads don't want us to take any
timber off the mountain, don't want us to go there on
a snowmobile or 4-wheelers, and are greatly offended by our cows and religion. Despite all listed above, we zone a valley that
attract folks like this who will want to change our way
In 1986 I drove through Swan Valley during
my move to Jackson Hole. I marveled at the beauty, but
wondered why everyone left it so run down. I have come
to realize after watching so many places get discovered
by the rich, why it may be better to leave a place a little
run down, or maybe do some zoning that includes the working
man, and maybe the working man's grandchildren. I have
worked in Jackson Hole for 28 years and I have seen many
of Jackson's own born an bred have to leave to make room
for the well heeled that financially displaced them.
It's nice to see your property escalate in
value; however, if you don't plan on selling out, you are just
building yourself a bigger property tax bill that you
may not be able to afford after you retire. I imagine
that when I can't work anymore my high property taxes
will make me sell out for a nice profit, but then I will
have to move to Mud Lake Idaho where the property and property
taxes will still be affordable as no one wants to live
Double rainbow over the Snake River in Swan Valley Idaho
Swan Valley is entering this mentality. We
have outlawed city lots, mobile homes not on foundations,
mandated snow-loads for roofs that eliminate the ability
to buy economical used mobile homes, and designer
septic tanks that ad $41.00 a month to a mortgage.
It all seems like such a good idea.
\Com`pre*hen"sive\, a. [Cf. F. compr['e]hensif.]
1. Including much; comprising many things; having a wide
scope or a full view. A very comprehensive definition.
--Bentley. Large and comprehensive idea. --Channing.
2. Having the power to comprehend or understand many
things. ``His comprehensive head.'' --Pope. 3. (Zo["o]l.)
Possessing peculiarities that are characteristic of several
It dumfounds me that comprehensive planning
in resort areas rarely factors the planner's progeny
or retiree's property tax liability.