JEROME — A developer wants to bring zip lines, BASE jumping, water slides, camping and housing to Devil’s Corral on the canyon rim in Jerome.
George Panagiotou’s property has been an item of concern for area residents, fearing development would permanently alter a scenic area decorated with raptor nests and Native American petroglyphs. Work has stalled on the surrounding 6,500-acre Snake River Canyon Park, where Jerome County planned to build horse trails and bike trails on federal land. The county has cited issues with funding and whether to allow shooting on the land.
But while Panagiotou has obtained a right-of-way through the Bureau of Land Management for access through the park to his property, there are still more government hurdles to clear before work could begin.
During an invite-only event Thursday at the Jerome Country Club, Panagiotou will reveal his vision for the development — which could include space for a lodge, private homes, condos, rim lots for tiny homes, and outdoor sports.
“Eco-tourism is a new thing,” said Bill Baker, the vice president of Devil’s Corral LLC, who will oversee environmental activities. “It’s not really used here yet.”
The development information will be available at 5 p.m. Thursday online at devilscorral.com.
Jerome County Planning & Zoning Administrator Arthur Brown said nothing has been submitted to the county for a development yet. Approval will depend on what the plan is, the infrastructure requirements and the required zoning, he said. The current agriculture zoning limits the area to one house per 40 acres.
“Anything outside of that would require a rezone,” Brown said.
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Devil’s Corral is a natural box canyon 3 miles east of the Perrine Bridge. A 30-50 foot rim rock surrounds the 20-acre desert basin, providing an enclosure. Devil’s Corral became known as a place for rustlers to hold stolen livestock, made easier by its flowing springs.
The Snake River Canyon Park on the north, west and east includes 400-foot vertical cliffs and an isolated island providing views of the Coral, two canyons and the Snake River.
“All of us who have been working closely with George are excited about the potential of the Devil’s Corral property,” Don Campbell, board of directors member and director of outdoor activities, said in a statement. “Our goals include the development of an eco-friendly outdoor adventure environment, while providing an eco-balanced lifestyle right out your back door.”
Panagiotou had previously asked the Bureau of Land Management, which leases the Snake River Canyon Park property to Jerome County, allow him to build a road through the park to his property near Devil’s Corral. In 2008, the Jerome County Commission rejected his proposal after the BLM asked for a recommendation.
The BLM granted the right-of-way this summer, however, after determining it did not cause conflict with the master plan for the park.
“It really wasn’t an issue,” BLM spokeswoman Heather Tiel-Nelson said.
The county commission again said last year it did not support the issuance of a right-of-way for the road, but after coordinating with the property owner and the BLM, the board said it was not opposed, according to BLM documents.
The right-of-way allows for improvement of 4,020 feet of existing “primitive” roads, with construction of 340 feet of new road, at a width of 50 feet. Devil’s Corral Road will begin at the county-maintained road locally known as the Shoshone Falls Road.