P&Z Minutes May 18th 2017

Boundary County Planning and Zoning Commission
Minutes DRAFT May 18, 2017

Agenda May 18 2017
Agenda Items
  1. Establish quorum; Open meeting
  2. Reading and approval of the April 20 minutes
  3. Application 17-054 – Public Hearing – Conditional Use
    1. Continuation of hearing tabled on 4/20/2017
  4. Application 17-052 – Public Hearing – Amend Land Use Ord 2017-1
    1. Continuation of hearing tabled on 4/20/2017 - additions to approved changes referenced in application 17-052)
      1. Density definitions/use:
        1. Section 11. - Subdivisions
        2. Section 15. - Zones
      2. Transfer of Property to Family (Retain; Modify; Delete)
      3. Motion to recommend approved changes to County Commissioners
  5. Adjourn
Statistics
Attending
Names
Public Eric Pipitone, Hector ‘Marty’ Martinez, Don Jordan, Clint Kimball, Dennis Weed
Planning & Zoning Counselor Tevis Hull, Caleb Davis (Chairman), Marciavee Cossette, John Cranor, Adam Isaac, Scott Fuller, Tim Heenan, Ron Self
Absent Wade Purdom (Co-Chair), Kim Peterson
Staff John Moss

At 5:30 pm Chairman Caleb Davis opened the meeting and announced the evening agenda would include a continuation of a Conditional Use hearing, tabled in the prior meeting.. After identifying the presence of a quorum Davis asked if there were any changes or corrections to be made to the Minutes of the April 20 meeting. Cranor suggested the sequence of his leaving the meeting and the voting ascribed to him were out of place. Staff said this would be corrected. Davis asked for a motion to approve the April minutes as corrected. Adam Isaac so moved, seconded by John Cranor. Davis noted the absence of Kim Peterson and Wade Purdom, and in view of the prior meeting's absences of Davis, Self and Fuller, noted the motion to approve the minutes could not be voted on. Staff said the correction noted by Cranor would be made.

[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.]

Next on the agenda was the continuation of a hearing to grant a Conditional Use Permit (17-054) to Eric Pipitone for an RV park to be located directly south of the Log Inn. In his opening statement Mr. Pipitone presented an updated plan for the proposed cabins and RV parking spots. The layout showed adherence to setback requirements along with added space for driveway access to the park at both the east and west driveway locations.

Davis asked the Commission if there were any questions for the applicant. John Cranor asked about the widening of the entrance as being of concern at the prior meeting; Eric answered that this had been done. Ron Self asked the applicant when the design for the expansion of the Log Inn facilities had been presented. Eric Pipitone said this was a multi-phase project, this phase being put together 6 months previous. Ongoing phases, including development of the parcels both to the east and the west, are all dependent upon the success of this first phase.

Davis asked for a staff report. Staff said that as a result of questions raised at the last meeting the applicant, Clint Kimball of Road and Bridge, Dennis Weed of Economic Development, Don Jordan representing the development designer and Staff all met to review concerns established at the last Planning and Zoning meeting on April 20th. The result of this gathering was to reach an agreement on terms as presented by Road and Bridge. These terms, as established in the Analysis, were agreed to by the applicant and are as follows:

  1. The adjoining lots on either side of the described property will be accessed by the two approaches allowed on described parcel. The approach on the south(east) boundary line shall be forty feet of driving surface permitted and built to R and B commercial approach standards. The Approach on the north (west) boundary line shall be twenty nine feet and to be expanded to forty feet of driving surface permitted built to Rand B commercial approach standards immediately upon Mr. Pipitone owning, operating, or using parcel #RP003900020050A.
  2. No parking on right of way (ROW)
  3. ROW not to be used as a temporary parking for check in or check out of businesses
  4. Plowed snow from parcels NOT to be stored on ROW

Davis asked if the concerns raised by Road and Bridge have been met. Staff said there were four concerns expressed and that these had been agreed upon by the applicant. Staff read these four terms aloud so as to provide the audience with common knowledge of the terms. Davis asked if there were any questions for Staff. Davis questioned Staff regarding the inclusion as an example of a prior similar application how many acres were involved in the Blue Lake development. Staff replied 21 acres. Davis said he recalled the Sunset Assisted Living example and asked Staff if there was any more to be added to the Staff Report. There being none, he opened the meeting to comments from anyone in favor of the application. No one spoke on behalf of the application, nor was anyone opposed to it.

Clint Kimball rose to speak about the overall concerns of Road and Bridge. He stated that the specifics of the issue related not to the exact location of ingress/egress openings for the applicant but rather the nature of traffic flow through the subdivision as the area expanded in use. His perspective was revealed as the potential for more heavy traffic exited from Highway 95, there had to be a wide enough road to provide through traffic from hitting a bottleneck caused by Log Inn customers being unable to get out of the right of way. He said if this happened such traffic might be backed up. Kimball said there has been a couple of companies wishing to use the neighborhood for their business and that they would require their own big rig access on Tobe Way. Now is the time to consider these needs, not later when hindsight might reveal that planning could have prevented bottleneck and safety issues.

Cranor asked about prior concerns related to turn radius and being able to turn wide enough to make access not an issue. Kimball responded that widening the entrance as proposed to provide access not just to the one parcel but both adjoining parcels, making these entrances 40 feet wide, satisfied Road and Bridge concerns regarding the turn radius question.

Davis asked if Clint didn’t see a safety hazard, and Kimball’s response was that conditions change but that 2007 Road standards are being applied and that although truck drivers may tend to take as much road as they can when making turns, this driveway width is considered to be safe by those standards.

MarciaVee asked about traffic northbound being able to negotiate a turn onto Tobe Way. Kimball responded by saying the turn lane on Highway 95 is wide enough to support traffic waiting to make a left turn onto Tobe Way, but that this was a State Highway concern, not one that County Road and Bridge could address. However, he said the existing lane was wide enough to support the proposed need and safety there was not a concern.

Davis asked the applicant whether the conditions stipulated by Road and Bridge were acceptable. Mr. Pipitone replied that they were understood and that keeping the roadway clear not just of traffic but of snow, in season, was something they can and would handle.

Counselor Hull mentioned the previous concerns regarding road width and right of way, and asked if it would be prudent to include mention of this now. Kimball responded that a review of the plat for this subdivision shows a right of way of 60 feet, 30 feet from center-line, for Tobe Way. Mr. Pipitone said that he thought his deed stipulated 50 feet, not 60 feet, but it became clear that the subdivision plat of 60 feet was the correct standard for determining right of way width. Mr. Pipitone said he can accept the 60 foot right of way and would do so in laying out his parcel plans.

Caleb Davis turned the time over to the Commission to discuss the application.

Cranor said that the concerns which caused this hearing to be tabled appeared to have been met. Davis asked if there were any additional terms or conditions which needed to be included, in addition to the four stipulated by Road and Bridge. He asked for a motion that would clarify just what is being approved.

Self stated that he would move to approve based on the four terms and conditions stipulated by Road and Bridge. Fuller seconded and Davis asked for discussion before calling for a vote. Counselor Hull suggested the right of way width might also be included in the terms and conditions. Self agreed and amended his motion to include the right of way width of 60 feet.

Ron Self moved to approve the application with the following terms and conditions:

  1. The adjoining lots on either side of the described property will be accessed by the two approaches allowed on described parcel.  The approach on the south(east) boundary line  shall be forty feet of driving surface permitted and built to R and B commercial approach standards. The Approach on the north (west) boundary line shall be twenty nine feet and to be expanded to forty feet of driving surface permitted built to Rand B commercial approach standards immediately upon Mr. Pipitone owning, operating, or using parcel #RP003900020050A.
  2. No parking  on right of way (ROW)
  3. ROW not to be used as a temporary  parking for  check in or check out of businesses
  4. Plowed snow from parcels NOT to be stored on  ROW
  5. Applicant recognizes adherence to 60’ ROW as platted along TOBE ROAD

The motion was seconded by Scott Fuller and there being no further discussion Davis called for a vote. The votes were as follows:.

Ron Self - Aye, John Cranor - Aye, Tim Heenan - Aye, Scott Fuller - Aye, Kim Peterson - Absent, Marciavee Cossette - Aye, Wade Purdom - Absent, Adam Isaac - Aye, Caleb Davis - (tie-breaker);
Tally: Nay (0), Aye (6), Absent (2)

The motion to approve the application for a Conditional Use Permit for an RV park to be located directly south of the Log Inn, with the enumerated terms and conditions, was unanimous.


The last item on the Agenda, Ordinance Considerations, had to do with presenting the proposed Land Use Ordinance 2017-1 changes to the public for approval and subsequent recommendation to the County Commissioners for adoption.

Caleb re-opened the hearing, taking from the table application 17-052 Amend Ordinance 2017-1 which was tabled on 4/20/2017. He determined that the purpose of this meeting was to finalize decisions on some items (presented as Appendix B), acknowledging that Appendix A had already been presented in public hearing and the contents of Appendix A have been approved in that hearing, properly advertised as such in the newspaper.

Caleb noted that since the application was originally submitted there have been changes made and approved relating to sections not specified in the original application. One item of business will be to ask for a motion to amend the application so as to incorporate these changes.

Counselor Hull made the point that the Public Notice must have included these section references even if the original application did not contain them. Staff showed the Public Notice which contained the sections 3 and 15, omitted in the application itself.

Caleb shared that the material to be discussed as represented by Section B would be described by Staff. He asked Staff to elaborate on the changes presented in Appendix B.

Staff said the changes were straightforward, and asked the Commission to refer to Section 2.14. For the definition of ‘Density’: “The smallest parcel size allowable within a zone district”. He said the term is clear, and referring to density as “Overall Net Development Density” or ‘Standard Net Density’ or ‘Standard Net Residential Density” or “Standard Net Development Density” was a carryover from the Density Bonus section of the ordinance removed in a prior update to the ordinance. Staff said these additional reference to density are not defined and since they are not needed should be removed. The major change here is that several sections contain these compound references and all can be shortened to the correct term - Density’. Using the handout of Appendix B as a guide, the Commission reviewed the simplified edits in sections 11, 15 and 20.

Caleb said that another item of business will be to ask for a motion to approve the changes in Appendix B.

Counselor Hull asked about the removal of the exemption for subdividing stated in Section 11.2.5 “Parcels are established through testamentary provisions or the laws of descent, provided documentation is provided the administrator so as to identify parcels so created” and Caleb noted that the change to delete this reference had already been voted on. However, in the interests of being educated, has asked for the reason for removal of this item.

Counselor Hull said that this provision allowed an exemption to rule the Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan guidelines, in that by providing for land disposition in a legal document would override the intent of both the Plan and the Ordinance. Therefore, it should not be established as a permissible exemption to the ordinance guidelines for subdividing property.

He said this was a similar provision to the family transfer process, and that in other counties (he mentioned Bonner and Kootenai) the provision for transfer to a family member always included the requirement that such a transfer could not result in a parcel size lesser than the smallest parcel allowed in a particular zone. In other words, he stated that the ONLY benefit to a family transfer procedure would be (in the cases of these two example counties) a relief from having to plat the gifted parcel.

Side note to Caleb from Counselor Hull regarding the question “If we remove this item do we have to renumber the entire document”? Answer: simply show the word ‘REPEALED” and if curious about what was repealed, do research and view the history on this repealed item.

This concluded the changes relative to simplifying the ‘density’ references through the ordinance, essentially encompassing the changes identified as ‘Appendix B’. Attention then turned to the “Transfer of Real Property to Family Members”, Section 20.11.

Staff shared that the existence of Section 20.11. Is perhaps a fluke, introduced when Dan Studer created Section 20 from the portions of Section 11 that deal with subdividing property. It so happened that this option for creating a gift for family members was piggy-backed on the Density Bonus section subsequently removed from Section 11. but copied into the Parcel Division (Section 20) perhaps because of its proximity to the portions of code in the Subdivisions section (11.). At any rate, it is included in Section 20. now. Because the ability to create a parcel less than the density (minimum parcel size in a zone) is specifically what this Section provides, the suggestion is to remove 20.11. entirely.

Davis said there have been a variety of concerns regarding this code, and he shared that he was sorry that Kim Peterson and Wade Purdom were not present since their opinion is valuable and he wanted to hear from them. He also said that Self was opposed to the idea of removing this code, and Ron said he’s been on both sides, he can see why it is good to keep the kids close and at the same time he’s aware that the provision has been abused. He has mixed feelings, he said, because he has experienced this same provision in Bonner County.

Counselor Hull asked if the land he’s talking about in Bonner County is less than the parcel size for the zone, and Self replied that no, it was not less than and so the situation was not exactly parallel. However, Self said he’s still wanting to keep this facility, and he recognizes the two counties are as different as day and night. He said that Boundary County is the hard working man’s county while Bonner County is not.

Cranor asked if the issue here is to strike Section 20.11. entirely or is there another option? Davis replied that it appears the Staff, Counselor Hull (and Hull speaking for the County Commissioners) were suggesting the code be entirely removed.

At this point a member of the public audience spoke up and asked to be heard. Davis responded “Of course! Please come up and introduce yourself and have your say!”

Do Jordan introduced himself and said that this concept has been here for over 25 years. Everybody was enthusiastic about the idea, and there were a number of parcels created at the end of Blue Sky Road. There were instances where the parcels were created as a gift deed for a one year old baby, and then sold. Up at the airport, property was purchased, split under this plan then sold. Good intentions, absolutely good intentions, but when opportunity met with reality, the intention was forgotten.

Conversation swirled around situations elsewhere in the panhandle, but the consensus was the same, always good intentions. Jordan pointed out that when this type of split takes place, small parcels being created, the effect is a gradual but irreversible erosion of valid farm land, so sticking to an absolute 5 or 10 acres is not necessarily the best use of our land. In his opinion, Jordan said that the land transfer to family members (meaning the waiver of parcel size minimums) has been abused more than it has benefited. He pointed out that even when it works, even when it goes to keep the family together in a compound type atmosphere, in 50 years the land will have been sold, the families gone, the parcels chopped up as opportunity and circumstances dictate, and the benefit to the family a matter of history. The community will inherit the result, however and whatever that might be.

Jordan went on to say that perhaps there is a way to legally bring the land back together if the parties involved want to dispose of their holding. Counselor Hull said you can make whatever stipulations you wish, perhaps as a covenant to go with the land,but who would administer such a claim? [laughter] Hull said that there would be lawsuits neighbor against neighbor. Self said he remembers the day when Sandpoint (in Bonner County) was the same as Bonners Ferry is today. He said there were some who wanted to put a gate on the long bridge to keep riff raff away. Conversation continued to swirl... until it became apparent that no new information was forthcoming.

Davis suggested there were three motions necessary:

  1. Amend the Application to include changes to Section 3 (Administration, Interview Planning and Zoning Commission candidates) and Section 15 (Simplify use of term 'density')
  2. Approve the changes presented as Appendix B
  3. Remove Section 20.11 (Transfer of Real Property to Family Members) from the ordinance entirely

. John Cranor moved to amend the application 17-052 to include Sections 3 and 15 changes. The motion was seconded by Ron Self and the votes were as follows:.

Ron Self - Aye, John Cranor - Aye, Tim Heenan - Aye, Scott Fuller - Aye, Kim Peterson - Absent, Marciavee Cossette - Aye, Wade Purdom - Absent, Adam Isaac - Aye, Caleb Davis - (tie-breaker);
Tally: Nay (0), Aye (6), Absent (2)

The motion to amend the application to include approved changes was approved unanimously.

John Cranor moved to recommend to the County Commissioners approval of the changes proposed in Appendix B regarding Section 11, Section 15 and Section 20. The motion was seconded by Tim Heenan and the votes were as follows:.

Ron Self - Aye, John Cranor - Aye, Tim Heenan - Aye, Scott Fuller - Aye, Kim Peterson - Absent, Marciavee Cossette - Aye, Wade Purdom - Absent, Adam Isaac - Aye, Caleb Davis - (tie-breaker);
Tally: Nay (0), Aye (6), Absent (2)

The motion to recommend approval by the County Commissioners of these publicly agreed upon updates was approved unanimously.

Adam Isaac moved to recommend to the County Commissioners removal of Section 20.11. (Transfer of Real Property to Family Members) The motion was seconded by Tim Heenan. Discussion revealed that Ron Self felt that this aspect of providing an option for family members to receive property should be retained. The votes were as follows:.

Ron Self - Nay, John Cranor - Aye, Tim Heenan - Aye, Scott Fuller - Aye, Kim Peterson - Absent, Marciavee Cossette - Aye, Wade Purdom - Absent, Adam Isaac - Aye, Caleb Davis - (tie-breaker);
Tally: Nay (1), Aye (5), Absent (2)

The motion to recommend approval by the County Commissioners to remove Section 20.11. from Land Use Ordinance 2017-1 was approved 5/1.

Ron Self moved to adjourn, Scott Fuller seconded, approved unanimously at 8:40 pm.

John B. Moss
Recorder

Date: 
Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 21:30
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