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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community & Neighborhood Development, Economic Development, Environment, Land Resources Conservation

Mission: Valley Advocates for Responsible Development advocates for private, public and civic actions that promote responsible development and sustainable use of the natural resources (water, land, wildlife and air) in Teton Valley, Idaho.

Target demographics: advocate for the responsible development and sustainable use of natural resources (water, land, wildlife and air)

Direct beneficiaries per year: craft best management practices for re-designing obsolete subdivisions in Teton County, ID and actively tracked the drafting of county land-use code

Geographic areas served: Teton Valley, ID

Programs: studies, research, publications, workshops and professional assistance. We are a watchdog for the community at the local decision making level by attending county and city public meetings/hearings. We advocate for local land use decision-making by crafting policies, goals and objectives that promote or implement responsible development that benefits Teton Valley families and future generations.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a new resident in Teton Valley, I’ve found VARD to be a very strong resource for residents, landowners, and developers. VARD advocates for sustainable development and natural resource protections. Their work with partners on both sides of the Tetons exemplifies their cooperative and collaborative programming to achieve conservation outcomes in our community. Their work on replatting subdivisions, their input and attendance at local meetings and their communications and education of the public is terrific. They work hard for landowners and the public, protecting property rights, improving property values and our way of life in Teton Valley. Keep up the good work! Thank you!

Comments ( 1 )

VARD Thanks for the feedback and thank you for volunteering!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What I like the most about Valley Advocates is how hard they work to distill down complicated and controversial topics. Land use issues are really contentious here in Teton Valley, and for 15 years, they have worked so hard to stay above the fray. They cover stories and issues for years, long after the newspaper has discontinued coverage. I am always sure to read their email reports and letters because I want to learn more about local issues regarding our lands and open spaces. They go to all the meetings and hearings and read through the long reports so I don't have to. I feel like they are my advocate.

Comments ( 1 )

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VARD 03/28/2016

Yes, the public meetings and hearings can be long, but it's worth it! Being there in person is the best way for us to provide grassroots planning advocacy.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Unfortunately VARD has not become the group that they said they would be or say that they are. They accomplish their goals through bullying and slander. If you want to support a great non-profit in Teton Valley that actually helps to keep our land natural and undeveloped, then please consider the Teton Regional Land Trust. Your money and time will be put to far greater use.

Comments ( 1 )

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VARD 03/29/2016

Hi there Rachel - We do value your feedback as a former employee. Please stop by the office some time. Thanks.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

VARD is one of the only organizations in Teton Valley that fights for this part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. As the valley grows, I see this organization helping to make sure the protection of its natural resources, agricultural character, and vibrant cities are being met. Thank you VARD for all you do!

Comments ( 1 )

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VARD 03/28/2016

Thank you for your support!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Please do not support this organization. ...please, please

Comments ( 1 )

profile

VARD 03/29/2016

Thank you for your feedback. We welcome your input. Please stop by our office any time to discuss.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

VARD has done an excellent job creating a dialog about sustainable development in our valley. Teton Valley has gone through huge development booms and busts, and much of the open land is plotted for subdiviions as people try to make their fortunes. VARD helps bring together disparate voices leading to polite and productive conversations. Their work is invaluable as our valley grows and changes.

2

Donor

Rating: 4

As a non-resident who has visited the beauty of the Teton Valley, I have been happy to support VARD and it's great staff in their efforts. I only wish my community in the State of Washington had such strong advocates.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

VARD is a strong and much needed advocate for sustainable development and natural resource protection in Teton Valley. Historic development patterns in the valley have been unguided and have resulted in a "shotgun blast" pattern, which has led to over-stretched public services and wildlife habitat fragmentation. In the face of seemingly ever-present political turmoil, VARD provides a progressive, research-supported, smart-growth, alternative to traditional development strategies.

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

VARD is the only organization working to curb development in Teton County. If you aren't familiar, this is perhaps one of the most beautiful valleys in the country in the shadow of the Teton mountains. If not for the hard work of VARD and it's suporters to keep development within city limits and abiding by state law, developers will continue to try and turn this velley into condos, concrete and strip malls.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

VARD serves a very important role in the community as a government resource and by helping citizens stay informed and be involved in the public decision making process.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VARD is an organization filled with pro-active, energetic professionals dedicated to sustainable development. They serve a large membership of individuals who on their own would likely not take the time to keep informed and have their voices heard.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VARD is a very small organization that relies heavily on its volunteer supporters who are concerned about smart gowth and conservation of the natural beauty of Teton County. The collaborative and consultative nature of its advocacy is effective and impressive. My experience working with them as a volunteer presenter at a fund raising event was quite positive!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development is about the process of community development at many levels and "advocates" for sound economic development consistent with Teton Valley wildlife, scenic, and human resources. VARD advocates for land use planning processes based on accurate and complete scientific and social information affecting the community as a whole, whether it relates to water or wildlife resources or the proper placement of industrial and manufacturing uses. In pursuing that goal at the micro level, VARD provides essential community resources by attending and publicizing for the community's citizens as well as their elected representatives and planning staff virtually all of the land use decisions of the County and local town govenrments. At the macro level, VARD works with national organizations on strategies and programs to integrate Teton County's development and practices with other western communities and regions facing the same task of protecting natural resources while promoting sustainable economies in difficult times. VARD's mission affects everyone and is well worth supporting and participating in.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Valley Advocates for Reasonable Development is actively working towards a smart future for Teton Valley. By providing accurate and factual informationn to valley residents the community is able to stay abreast on development issues and have a voice in the decision making process. This valley is a beautiful wild place that attracts tourists as such. It is incredibly important to protect it from unreasonable land development and expansion for the sake of expansion. VARD is essential to a healthy future for Teton Valley.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

VARD serves the very important function of gatekeeper when it comes to curbing irresponsible development. VARD does so through its public awareness program and, in some instances, by confronting the developers. In Idaho and elsewhere in the West, organizations like VARD.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

VARD is an ESSENTIAL organization in Teton Valley. Our community has a history of unplanned, short-sited development patterns. As a result we are facing serious pitfalls in wildlife corridors, zombie subdivisions w/ thousands of empty lots and houses, lack of pathways, lack of density, and risks to our future wilderness-based tourist industry that fuels our economy. VARD works as a tireless watchdog to educate people on Smart Growth principles and to ensure that our county's leaders are helping regulate future planning.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) is truly a community resource. The professional staff conduct research, host free seminars & forums, & when the topic is outside of in-house expertise they commission studies. Subjects have ranged from nutrient pathogen water studies to the fiscal impacts of development as well as many other themes. One current project, Reshaping Development Patterns, is a collaboration between VARD, the Sonoran Institute, & the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Through research, seminars & community roundtables VARD has been working to identify best practices & to draft ordinances to assist the County officials as they attempt to deal with distressed & obsolete subdivisions leftover from the boom years. A goal is to motivate developers to significantly scale back the scope of their original development plans through re-platting. This is a win-win situation for all county property owners, the local government & our resident wildlife.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

VARD plays a critical role in Teton Valley, Idaho by providing timely, fact based information on development issues. The organization is particularly relevant as the county and its residents take steps to plan for the future after having learned hard lessons from the recent real estate bust.

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

Valley Advocates for Responsible Development is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit citizens' group that advocates for private, public, and civic actions that will result in the responsible development and sustainable use of the natural resources (water, land, wildlife, and air) in Teton Valley. VARD works towards fair and predictable development that will benefit the entire community and future generations. Our approach is a collaborative one. We seek to be a resource for local decision makers and developers, as well as to educate and empower citizens to be involved in the local decision-making process. Recent program work has involved the Teton Valley 2020 Comprehensive Plan; tracking land-use planning efforts; representing the citizens of Tetonia pro bono in an Annexation case, to name only a few active VARD projects. VARD's recent OP/Eds and e-mail alerts have significantly clarified misconceptions about taxes, the comp plan process and intent, and about land-use proposals. The organization seeks to provide fact-based education and outreach to its members and the public, in order to provide information about and clarify current land-use and planning issues.

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

For about a decade Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) has been and continues to be a resource to the community. The mission driven staff have helped us towards a well-managed growth plan that allows Teton Valley, ID to keep its historical character while evolving fairly and productively. VARD educates, advocates, advises, supports citizens, decision makers and developers. Most importantly, VARD asks us all to stop, think, reflect and involve ourselves in shaping our future proactively.