For the week of March 31, 1999  thru April 6, 1999  

Kempthorne comes to town

New governor signs local legislation

Express Staff Writer

Gov. Dirk Kempthorne shakes hands with Sen. Clint Stennett as Rep. Wendy Jaquet looks on after signing legislation that originated in Blaine County. The signing took place at the old county courthouse Friday. (Express photo by Willy Cook)

As part of a whirlwind tour of the state, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne stopped in Hailey on Friday to sign the transfer of development rights bill like a lauded author on a book-signing campaign to promote his latest work.

Everyone was there.

People representing the diverse spectrum of land use in Blaine County set aside their different expectations to recognize the efforts of those responsible for TDR legislation becoming law.

Congrats were doled out and speeches were made.

"This big of a change in land management could never have happened so quickly without everyone’s effort," Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, who sponsored the TDR Bill in the Senate, said. "The transfer of development rights is another tool to keep Idaho special."

Kempthorne then took the floor.

"To see such enthusiasm for this bill from such a broad base of individuals is amazing," Kempthorne said. "This legislation benefits communities throughout Idaho."

Kempthorne then signed the bill and said, "to all of you good folks in Blaine County, people that love Idaho, Bill 323 is no longer a bill, it is a law of Idaho."

The signing of the TDR Bill into law is the culmination of a two-year effort to address land-management reform in Blaine County.

"The work will come in crafting application of TDR legislation on a local basis," Blaine County Commissioner Dennis Wright said. "There are a lot of different expectations out there."

The transfer of development rights bill sponsored by Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, and Rep. Jim Kempton, R-Albion, in the House, allowa local governments and landowners to voluntarily participate in a program to preserve open space by directing development away from rural areas and toward cities and existing public services.

The lengthy campaign to promote the transfer concept took place on two fronts: in the Idaho Legislature and in Blaine County, where it was conceived to guide development in this rapidly growing area.

However, in the middle of it all, special interests and individual expectations sometimes contradicted the intent of the TDR concept. Farmers and ranchers from transfer "sending areas" saw the money they would receive for not developing their land. Developers and real estate agents in "receiving areas" envisioned the financial gain that might come from building high-density projects.

With the approval of the bill in the Idaho Legislature last week, Jaquet reminded Blaine County residents and public officials alike that people need to start thinking about preserving open space.


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