Smart Growth Stories: Teton County Commissioner Kathy Rinaldi on development strategies for long term prosperity
In the 1990s and 2000s, Teton County, ID was exploding. Its population growth was the 12th fastest in the entire country, and new home growth was the 6th fastest.
“We saw a palatable change in 10 years,” said Teton County Commissioner Kathy Rinaldi, a member of Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. “At one point we had 89 subdivisions in the approval process. It was complete insanity. And it was very quick, it was very slipshod. [Only] half the subdivisions were built out, some were never even started.”
Then, in the late 2000s, the national real estate bust brought development in Teton County to a grinding halt. Almost 7,000 subdivision lots were left vacant, and the construction industry – once the leading job sector in the county – was crippled. Runaway real estate speculation and a lack of development strategy both contributed to the bust.