Jefferson County continues to grow as new homes and subdivisions continue to join the area.

According to Erik Stout with Jefferson County Planning and Zoning, the county has several subdivisions that have been approved including: three lots near 400 N 3800 E., four lots near 4000 E 100 N, ten lots near 4000 E 100 N, three lots near 3400 E 38 N, and seven lots near County line and 3300 E.

A six lot subdivision has been proposed near 3700 E and 400 N. The plat has gone through a preliminary hearing and the final plat has been submitted but did not have approval as of Sept. 29.

Planning, Zoning and Building Administrator Kevin Hathaway said that the Autumn Heights subdivision, which platting for was originally approved in 2009, has begun to develop in Garfield. He expects this division will have approximately 66 lots.

“We issue permits all year long so the number is constantly changing,” Hathaway said. “Some are commercial and other permits, but we’ve had more permits this year than last year and that continues to be a consistent trend we’ve seen in the county over the last several years.”

The Hailey Creek subdivision in Rigby will be continuing development with 161 lots of single-family dwellings and 152 town homes are on the way under new ownership, Kartchner Homes. The subdivision currently has just 12 homes.

County Commissioners have stated in the past they would like to build up the county’s commercial and industrial aspect, which has also been a topic of conversation throughout cities.

“Years ago, someone asked me if I viewed Rigby and Jefferson County as a bedroom community and yeah, I think we are,” Hathaway said. “People think of that as a bad thing but that means that people want to live here and that we have a good quality of life. Businesses and retail will want to move here the more we have people coming into the area.”

According to Hathaway, the entire region is experiencing growth as people retire or move to Idaho from places like California, Utah and Arizona for the quality of life.

“There’s a broad spectrum of growth but that is the trend; that our numbers are increasing,” he stated.

The challenge Planning and Zoning within the county and cities face now is anticipating needs and updating ordinances and Area of Impact Agreements. Rigby previously was the only city with an agreed upon and closed AOI, but moved to reopen it in September.

“It’s a good plan but none of use could predict the growth we would have,” Rigby Public Works Director Mitch Bradley said in Sept. “We don’t want to be in a situation where the city gets surrounded and is unable to continue growing.”

Back in May, Lewisville and Menan Mayors George Judd and Tadd Haight stated that with COVID-19, AOI Agreements were put on the back burner and that it doesn’t help that it’s a large task to get everything done.

As of October, Haight stated that they had met again with Planning and Zoning and stated that it’s been a “clown show” getting everyone in the same room and a lot of playing telephone.

“We finally have an agreement with Lewisville on where the line is,” Haight said. “We want to get it done.”

In May, Ririe Mayor Larry Lovell and Mud Lake Mayor Sherry Locascio said they hadn’t heard from the County in months and are either sticking to their current agreements or waiting to know if things need revisions.

“We’re in a race to update the ordinances in order to keep up with the growth,” Hathaway said. “We’re well aware we have some challenged and we’re facing them and preparing for them.”