Boundary County Planning and Zoning Commission
December 15, 2016
|Public||Tyson Jensen, Nathan Yoder, Jim Ball|
|Planning & Zoning||Ron Self, John Cranor, Tim Heenan, Scott Fuller, Kim Peterson, Matt Cossalman, Marciavee Cossette, Wade Purdom, Caleb Davis|
|Absent||Counselor Tevis Hull|
At 5:30 pm Chairman Caleb Davis opened the meeting and after identifying the presence of a quorum asked if there were any changes or corrections to be made to the Minutes of the October 20 meeting. Wade Purdom noted a typo which staff observed would be corrected. Chairman Davis asked for a motion to accept the minutes as amended. Purdom so moved, seconded by Matt Cossalman and with Cranor abstaining the motion carried unanimously.
[Planning & Zoning minutes are transcribed from the conversation that takes place during the meeting. Topics are condensed, eliminating verbatim comment in order to condense the material. Key points are included in this extraction and all votes taken are recorded.]
There was some discussion amongst the P&Z Commission members concerning the sequence of items on the agenda. MarciaVee Cossette had expressed a desire to leave early, and Matt Cossalman suggested that the agenda seemed straightforward and timing should not be an issue for Cossette. It was agreed to stick to the agenda, and Jim Ball was asked to come forward and express his concerns regarding the need for a zone map amendment.
Mr Jim Ball, of 228 Shamrock Rd, Bonners Ferry, Idaho, said he purchased a property for development purposes. This parcel is currently zoned Rural Residential, which has a density of 5 acres. At the time of purchase, the density was shown as being 1 acre. Mr. Ball said he purchased 5 plus acres intending to develop 5 1 acre lots, but the permits were rescinded by Planning & Zoning because it was determined the original zone was incorrect. After amending the zone map to make his property Rural Residential, there was litigation that allowed Mr. Ball to split a 1.67 acre lot and leave a 4.0 acre parcel from the original 5.67 parcel. Mr, Ball stated that he had worked with Panhandle Health to gain septic approval. That Cabinet Mountain can supply water for the parcels, that access to proposed lots had been approved by Road & Bridge and that everything necessary to support this development is ready to go. The only thing remaining is the permits necessary for residential development. He asked what is necessary for getting the area rezoned Residential for 1 acre development? Commission members asked how close the parcel is to the City of Bonners Ferry; Mr. ball said it is close, and that in fact the properties 3 parcels away are all zoned Residential.
Using his laptop to display the property on the courtroom monitor, Wade Purdom focused on the area at the top of Paradise Valley Road, viewing north-west to Shamrock Road and the surrounding parcels so all in attendance could see the property. When asked if the property had been surveyed, Mr. Ball said that JRS Surveying had been totally involved from the beginning of development. When asked if he had considered gift deeding the parcels, Mr. Ball replied that he didn’t want to do anything ‘cute’ that wasn’t standard, that he wants to do this right but that currently the zone density restricts his development.
Kim Peterson asked for clarification regarding a mistake having been made and Mr. Ball stated that all of the west side of Shamrock Road was zoned Residential but that when this was declared a mistake and rezoned he was caught with a purchase of 5 plus acres he had intended to subdivide. He said Mike Weland had issued permits for his lots and then rescinded the permits after it seemed a mistake had been made in zoning. Peterson asked how long a time between the issuance of the permits and rescinding? Mr. Ball said months, that he had built one house, had over $100,000 invested and then the permits were rescinded. He was allowed to split the parcel containing the house, circa 2007, 2008, and there remains a 4 acre parcel on a lot he uses for equipment storage since he cannot develop the parcel.
Staff responded to the question as to how development can proceed by stating there is an Amendment option for rezoning but this would be for an individual parcel only, if submitted by an applicant. Staff said that if the problem mentioned by Mr. Ball is more widespread than just one parcel perhaps the area can be viewed by Planning & Zoning as a general map amendment thus addressing all parcels in the area. Mr. Ball said that he has no problem submitting a zone map amendment request, that he just wanted to do the right thing. Caleb Davis said there has been a lot of discussion about different areas that may need rezoning, and that this would take a long time so perhaps Mr. Ball would be looking at a long spell before anything would happen. Mr. Ball said he simply wanted to do the right thing and that there is sufficient diversity in his Shamrock Road neighborhood to justify a rezone and that perhaps to amend the zone his parcel sits in would amount to an ‘island zone’.
Ron Self said this should have been brought up some time ago. Mr. Ball replied by saying that although he has waited some time for a resolution, he has other properties in Boundary County that have taken his time and attention. However, he said, he has no problem submitting a zone amendment application for that parcel, if that’s what it takes.
Matt Cossalman stated that there is nothing the Planning & Zoning Commission can do without having a public hearing, and that any ideas presented at this time are not binding and the P&Z Commission cannot recommend a specific course of action nor predict any outcome.
Self suggested that perhaps getting the neighbors together and work to get a combined application might expedite getting things done. Mr. Ball said there is one neighbor opposed to the idea and perhaps this would work against him. Purdom suggested that Section 18.1.3 of the ordinance provides for a legislative option where 20 or more people requesting a change would mean having not a quasi-judicial appeal but a request for a legislative appeal. Cossalman affirmed this, saying that unlike a quasi-judicial hearing where everyone has to be present to hear all testimony, a legislative hearing allows us to talk about the considerations in a more general way. After thanking the P&Z Commission for their time, Mr. Ball said he would consider his options and make a decision.
Caleb Davis thanked Mr. Ball for his input and then opened a public hearing for application 17-016 by John Oxley, represented by Nathan Yoder. This is an application for a Conditional Use Permit to allow multiple residences on a single parcel. If approval is given, Staff will be allowed to issue a Residential Placement Permit (17-015) to John Oxley, establishing this second residence. If approval is NOT given, the Residential Placement Permit 17-015 will be denied.
Mr. Davis read the Chairman’s Script for conduct of public hearings, followed by the Quasi-judicial Chairman’s script for Application 17-016. There being no one who had ex-parte contact, the Chairman asked anyone present who wished to give public testimony and who had their comments in writing to please hand a copy to the Administrator. There being none, he asked the applicant’s representative, Nathan Yoder, if he would like to make an opening remark.
Mr. Yoder said the request was to place a second residence on the same property. Cossalman asked how far apart the two location were, and Mr. Yoder said approximately 300 yards. Mr. Self asked if there had been approval given by Panhandle Health, and Mr. Yoder said no, that he wanted to wait until it was determined the application for the Residential Placement Permit was approved.
With the screen monitor provided by Wade Purdom, using Google Earth it was determined the distance would more closely approximate 450 yards. When Davis asked the size of the house, Mr. Yoder said about 2700 square feet.
There being no more discussion, Staff was asked for a Staff Report and Staff Analysis. Staff shared the sequence of requests, the first being a request for a Residential Placement Permit, the second for the Conditional Use Permit to allow the second residence. Then came a surprise: there was no FIRST Residential Placement Permit on file! On the face of it, the Conditional Use Permit was not needed, since there was not a First Residential Permit on file! However, there was no denying the existence of the first residence, and after the fact Staff requested a Residential Placement Permit for the existing structure. This was applied for, Application 17-023, the result being that both structures will have an appropriate permit on file.
Staff also cited a precedence in this request, where earlier in the year the P&Z Commission had approved application 16-100 by Sam Wray. Application 16-100 was for a second home on a 170+ acre parcel, and was approved based on Section 22.214.171.124. which allows a Conditional Use Permit for a duplex, multi-family or multi-structure residence in an Agriculture/Forestry zone.
Staff said that Road & Bridge had expressed concern that access to this new structure NOT be at the bend of road on the corner of the parcel where Moravia Rd turns to follow the eastern side of the parcel. Their concern relates to published standards concerning driveway placement, and they said that the gated entrance about 300 feet from that corner provided an acceptable driveway location.
In addition, staff related that some neighbors have expressed concern about the placement of the new house, saying that they were concerned about the placement upsetting their view. Upon being told where the location for the new structure would be, all neighbors withdrew their concerns.
There being no one present to speak further on the application, the Chairman asked Mr. Yoder if he had any more to add. Mr. Yoder said it was all good, and Davis asked if there were any questions for the applicant. Ron Self asked if the location of the driveway was acceptable, and Mr. Yoder said no, it wasn’t his first choice. Self asked why not, and Mr. Yoder said because it goes through the middle of a field and he would prefer to go around the field. Cossalman asked if Mr. Yoder had talked with Road & Bridge to discuss the location of a more acceptable location, and Mr. Yoder said he had talked to them but they said he should get the permit first before worrying about the driveway. He also said that it seemed an option might be to use the existing driveway to the first structure, then drive from there to the second residence. Although, he said, this was a bit of a roundabout and maybe not too desirable if it called for getting an approved easement to do so.
Staff interjected to say that a condition for approval might be for the applicant to get an approved driveway access before the Residential Permit 17-015 could be issued. There being no further questions of the applicant, the Chairman thanked him and closed the hearing to public testimony; he asked the Commission to discuss the application.
Self suggested a motion approving the application providing Road & Bridge approved the driveway access and Panhandle Health and electrical approvals were granted. Cossalman objected to the last two conditions, and Davis asked for clarification from Self and Cossalman as to why they felt as they did.
Self said that it just makes sense that the health status and electrical utility be approved, and Cossalman said that the applicant did not need the approval in order to complete construction, although both were desirable. Self agreed, and withdrew his amended health and electrical verbiage. Heenan asked if they don’t need approvals, and the answer is yes, they need approvals to occupy but not to build. The construction could be completed and the approvals delayed for a number of years, but the issue is the placement of the structure, not the approvals to occupy.
Caleb asked about the property size and the similarity of the application to Sam Wray’s application that made it seem reasonable to agree with the application. Cossalman said the issue regarding driveway access is based on there being an existing driveway on the corner of the property, and based on R&B concerns for safety based on the Road & Bridge ordinance that restricts distance between neighboring driveways, it is reasonable to stipulate a condition of having the applicant gain R&B’s approval of driveway location before granting the Residential Placement Permit.
Self again made the motion to approve the application as written, conditional upon acceptance by Road & Bridge of the chosen driveway location. Matt Cossalman seconded, voting was as follows:
Scott Fuller – Aye, Tim Heenan – Aye, Caleb Davis – Aye, Matt Cossalman – Aye. Marciavee Cosette – Aye, Ron Self -Aye, John Cranor - Aye, Kim Peterson - Aye, Wade Purdom - Aye
Tally; 9 approve, 0 recuse, 0 abstain, 0 absent. Caleb Davis – Chair (tiebreaker).
The motion by the P&Z Commission is to approve the Conditional Use, permitting a second residence on the Oakley parcel, conditional upon R&B approval of the applicant’s driveway location.
After concluding the hearing and thanking Mr. Yoder for his time and input, the Chairman thanked everyone for their participation. Cossalman said that he appreciated the thanks and wanted Caleb to know that he felt the changes recommended by Caleb to the Variance section of the ordinance were well thought out and would be a large benefit to the Commission going forward. Davis thanked Matt, everyone thanked everyone else and then Matt Cossalman suggested that with the upcoming change to the Comprehensive Plan the P&Z Commission focus on the Comprehensive Zone map that will be created and relate that map to the existing zone map so the zone map reflects more closely the development that has taken place and is planned to take place. Purdom agreed that he didn’t feel it too productive to spend time editing typographical errors and structural numbering concerns, as had to be done with this latest change.
MarciaVee Cosette had to leave, and everyone wished her, then everyone else, a Merry Christmas. As MarciaVee was being thanked for her participation and her vote and was in the process of leaving, Caleb said he was not involved in making changes to the zoning maps and asked how this was done. Matt said there were recommendations made in adopting the zoning ordinance and things got changed back and forth on the minutes, and he thought there were things that were suggested and approved in our meeting that didn’t make it on the map. Not being involved in the Commissioners meeting it isn’t clear how it happened but he could see where there may have been mistakes. Kim Peterson said it is difficult to see how those involved were well served. Matt seems pretty laid back about it, she said, and others said he’s had a lot of time to adjust.
Matt said basically it is what it is, and Wade said it is up to us to follow through, especially with the key things, and as we go through changes of the scope we’re talking about, a new Comprehensive Plan and resulting changes (perhaps) to the Comprehensive Map, the Zone Map and the Land Use Ordinance, we’ll need to keep your experience in mind, and do the best we can to carry thoughts from the Plan to the maps and ordinance. Matt said that whatever we discuss he thinks there is a State code that governs the process. Peterson said she thought so, too. Caleb said that even though you’re done as of next month, your advice is going to be needed because of your knowledge and experience. Matt said invite me if you need some input from me, and Davis sincerely thanked him for the offer. Self said workshops are open to the public, and Davis said he wanted to emphasize how welcome Matt would be to attend sessions as they are scheduled.
There followed discussion about term limits, but Matt said he wanted to remind everyone that he championed term limits, and did not want to serve more than his term, so trying to get him back on the Commission was not going to happen. However, his offer to visit when needed and participate still stands.
Recognizing the need to meet in January to elect officers and end Mat Cosalman’s term, Wade Purdom moved to adjourn, Ron Self seconded, approved unanimously at 6:40PM.
John B. Moss