Attorneys representing Fintan Ryan, who bought the 225-acre Puzzleface Ranch along Highway 22 in 2010 for $7.8 million, have received permission to go into mediation with Teton Country attorneys over a battle for construction of Ryan's proposed 16,000 square foot home. Attorneys are fighting over what elevation Ryan can build his home at, especially since Ryan's basement, which when included doubles the home size permitted by Teton County officials, needs to meet certain grading criteria in order not to be counted against the square footage cap.
Ryan's complaining that he met all the requirements of his building permit, which allowed him to begin pushing dirt against his bottom floor so that half of it would technically be underground and count as a basement. But when construction to do so began in 2011, family members of the previous owners, who had placed a voluntary conservation easement on the land, went ballistic, and claimed that the construction "violated the intent of the easement," which was one of the first in the region. Some Jackson residents even went as far as calling it "Disneyland conservation." However, the Nature Conservancy admitted that the construction met all the requirements of the easement, which is the one binding document concerning construction on Ryan's property. They then apologized to the former owners for the poor communication.
Meanwhile, county officials have said they "couldn't have" accepted plans for the home with reviewing plans for the entire building site first. An independent mediator will attempt to bring the two sides together now, and Curbed will be paying attention to see how this proposed mansion on what had been traditionally considered open space turns out.