Last night the Twin Falls City Council voted to rezone the Lazy J Ranch as commercial. 


And part of the rezone agreement is that the park cannot be developed for five years.  Many attending the three hour public hearing last night were residents of the Lazy J Ranch and afraid of having to move out of their homes to make way for other development on the property.  Residents of Lazy J own the home but not the property it sits on.  The owners of Lazy J are concerned about the stipulation of the rezoning…if too many residents move out it may not be economically viable for five years.  Right now the vacancy rate is just above 20 percent.  The owners had originally volunteered to not develop the property within five years if the vacancy rate stayed below 28 percent but that part was rejected by the city council.  As the agreement now stands the park cannot be developed for the five year period regardless of the vacancy rate.  Two councilmen voted against the rezone.  The public hearing lasted for about three hours.  City Attorney Fritz Wonderlich said the new agreement actually affords the residents of Lazy J more protection than leaving it as it was.  Under the old plan the owners could have issued an order giving the residents six months to vacate.  Under this new agreement they have five years.

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