Planning and Zoning Regular Meeting

May 16, 2013 5:30 pm

Attending: Matt Cossalman, Caleb Davis, Ron Self, John Cranor, John Moss, Marciavee Cossette. Absent: Steve Shelman, Bruce Behrman. Staff, Dan Studer.

At 5:30 pm Matt Cossalman, Chairman opened the regular meeting and read through the agenda.

The minutes of the April meeting were reviewed and Ron Self motioned to accept the minutes, second by John Cranor. No discussion, the motion was passed unanimously.

The second agenda item was Dave Sims, Economic Development Council presentation for ordinance increase in allowable sq.ft. for Industrial and Commercial/Lt. Industrial zones, so developers don't have to go through a conditional use permit when purchasing property for a business. Lack of infrastucture is also an issue, i.e. water flow rates insufficient to meet fire safety requirements. Space is limited where year round roads can access highways, and land area is sufficient to accommodate septic system requirements. High Occupancy and Land Intensive uses require a conditional use permit or a county permit, which may discourage potential businiess in the area.

The Commission decided to give this consideraton and take the subject up at another meeting.

At 5:45 Cossalman began deliberation regarding the upcoming public hearing, specifically how to handle time limits when an individual requests additional time for public comment. After the Commission discussed this John Moss made motion that the time limit will be three minutes, and those who signed up to speak may donate their time to another speaker, which will be limited to a maximun fifteen minutes. Second by John Cranor; the vote was unanimous.

At 5:50 Cossalman read the script for 13-018 Conditional Use application public hearing, and opened the meeting with John Beckers comments. Mr. Becker stated that land sales are limited and difficult to find, the largest he considered was 41 acres. Sawmills and industrial uses are allowed in the Ag/Forestry zone. Smith Lake is a recreational area, and his neighbor has a motocross track set up for personal use. He agreed to work with all county departments to make this a success. He could provide a closed in horse trail area. The activity would provide more money to the community. This is a family sport with old and young participating. He acknowledged it is noisy, however, there must be some give and take. There is no burden on the taxpayer. This activity provides something positive in the community.

Questions for the applicant included: Cranor asked regarding the consultation with other departments; Becker responded that ambulance and R&B consulted. Road widening and easement is an issue, maintenance is not a problem.

Cossette asked about wells; Becker, one well on site, may do another. He will need a holding tank to water track. There will be a concession on the site.

Moss asked about the track construction; Becker, the construction is started but not complete.

Self asked about water for dust abatement and fire; Becker said he will have a water tender on hand during race events. Ambulance cost would be paid by himself. He plans to go non-profit.

Cossalman asked about expected traffic; Becker expects 30 trips for practice days, and 200 trips on a race day, 300 maximum. Campering is allowed, but only for race participants, about 20 – 30 estimated.

Moss asked about how many racers per event and how many race events. Becker said 10 racers per competition in the 50 cc, 85 cc, 250 cc, etc. classes.

Self asked regarding alcohol; Becker said no alcohol will be sold.

Cossalman asked about private security; Becker said he will have volunteers. Asked about a PA system, Becker said yes. Asked about the noise Becker responded that bikes are up to 96 decibels, and multiple bikes increase this to about 104 decibels. He said he will have a noise monitor.

No further questions of the applicant, Studer gave his staff report.

Cossalman opened the public hearing for those in favor of the Conditional Use Application.

Those providing comments are listed in the Public Hearing Sign-Up Sheet. Comments include:

This sport gives kids the opportunity to learn as well as enjoy the sport. Learn mechanics, engines, etc.

People love trail riding, nothing much more to do here; have to go out of town to do it now, either Libby or Airway Heights. Dirt biking is good exercise, provides a goal for youth; become a pro. There is no opportunity here. Builds youth confidence, improves health; must practice to become good at it. The sport is good clean fun. This is a family sport. The community needs this to boost the youth activities here. You know where your kids are when participating in this sport. This sport opens opportunity for kids to try racing, which they can then do when older, and go pro even. Kids can learn their potential.

There were no comments from uncommitted speakers.

Cossalman opened comments to those opposed. Featherstone, representing the Smith Lake Neighborhood Organization was allowed 15 minutes and opened. He agreed the concept of a track may be a good idea, however, does it meet the county ordinance provisions? Becker's plan does not show how his events can be done without causing undue nuisance, or how he can avoid this aspect. Ag/Forestry zone does not show this as an allowed conditional use. The plan does not show how Land Intensive and High Occupancy use effects are mitigated. Road is issue because there is no alternative route; this becomes a fire/safety issue. No plan for evacuation, or plan for road improvement. No comments from Fire or Ambulance submitted. IC 67-6512. Comprehsive Plan. North Bench Fire Association is volunteers, and there is no plan for expansion addressed in the application plan. There is no tax provided for roads, so how will the county be able to improve the road? Currently the road is narrow and gravel. And, how do you monitor 300 people and alcohol, which is not addressed? Sanitation facilities for 300 people is an issue. There is a time and place for everything; the time may be right, but this place is too impacted.

Those providing comments are listed in the Public Hearing Sign-Up Sheet. Issues in brought up in opposition include: Use proposed will become larger than expected, and will have to increase in size to be economically viable. County Road is 14 feet wide in spots. Increase dust. Noise is too loud and too long in duration. Water, sewer, and electric are issues also. A fire mitigation plan is needed. Parking is inadequate. There is not enough land to contain the use. Proposed plan is in conflict with Ag/Forestry zone; there is a wildlife conflict. The Road and Bridge report is inadequate. Noise is a public nuisance beyond the reasonable expections of those living in the area. Property values will be reduced. The cost is not offset by the potential use; sheriff and road cost especially. The USFS Campground at Smith lake is small and will be stressed. The 8 am to 8 pm time is unreasonable, kids own personal tracks are used – then it's over. Smith Lake C.G. and road will be overwhelmed by campers and trailers. Emergency responders can get to areas in and near town, but not here. Property owners purchased land because it is a nice quiet place to live; there are deed restrictions on warrenty deeds. These conditions should be upheld. Multi-family dwellings not allowed in the area, Becker shouldn't be allowed to camp. Other areas active with motocross are specifically zoned for noise- i.e. Airway Heights between two airports. Property will be difficult to sell if application approved. This track is unsafe due to rocks and boulders, need soft dirt; won't allow son to use this track because he will get hurt. Conditional Use is violation of deed restrictions in the area – single family residential. Hours of operation on weekends conflicts with people expecting quiet weekends by the lake at their residence. Object to commercial operation, disrupt family enjoyment in residential neighborhood. Noise and dust are a health concern; needs more appropriate location. People drive fast on the road, danger to kids and animals already.

Cossalman directed Becker to begin his rebuttal. Becker said his plan is good for kids and the community. He said he did talk to R&B. There were no alternative properties available. He responed that he is willing to continue to work to get easements and road improvements. He will have a water tender on site and an ambulance on race days. He proposed limiting to 15 – 30 practice days and no race days. Becker stated he thought there would be more bartering and was willing to lessen his plan.

Moss stated the one-way-in/out road in an emergency is a disaster. A plan is needed. Becker replied that the road is out of his control. There were additional questions regarding operating days, water tenders, and ambulance.

Cossalman closed the public testimony and opened discussion with the P&Z Commission. Self, main issue is lack of road easement, and the road widening won't get done. Cranor, fire and the North Bench Vol. Fire has to contend with the road issue. Cossalman, water on scene is sufficient to respond to incident. Self felt the road is a bigger issue. Cossalman commented that there not many turnouts, and when you reach Highway 95 most traffic will be making a left hand turn onto the highway. Moss commented that existing properties value may be up or may be down; big issues are noise and dust. The plan is not adequate to address these concerns. Also, the road should be improved, and then the plan submitted. Self, road gets washboarded and fast drivers go off the road. Cranor, as far as road and Highway 95 issues the plan is not sufficient. Cossalman, large race event egress is a real problem. Small events would be okay, however, big events with people towing trailers is problem. Also, noise, as in Section 10.1.3, i.e. “like a lawnmower,” can't be met. Self, because of location on hilltop noise is harder to mitigate. Cossette, motocross has a big potential here and will continue to grow... then what will you do. Moss agreed regarding growth and issues of dust and noise becoming worse. The property owners deeds and CCR's should be respected. Cossalman said CCR's are not our juristiction; we regard density and not noise issues.

Cossalman asked for responses to Considerations 7.7 as he read them off.

7.7.1 - The plan is not adequate and does not show the full scope of the proposed use.

7.7.2 - The plan does not conform adequately to standards, especially noise, public nuisance.

7.7.3 - The land area is insufficient to accommodate the proposed use, and cannot buffer noise.

7.74 - The proposed use is far greater in impact compared to existing uses in the zone.

7.7.5 - Concerns were submitted by R&B, and the State of Idaho, and these concerns are not adequately addressed in the plan.

7.7.6 - The proposed use would benefit the community.

7.7.7 - The concerns raised by the public are legitimate and are not adequately addressed, i.e. safety of roads and concerns over wells being lowered.

7.7.8 - The proposed use would infringe on the property rights of surrounding property owners and may have the effect of lowering property values due to noise.

7.7.9 - The proposed use would unfairly burden taxpayers due to need for upgrading the county road not being offset by the profits from motels, etc.

There was a short discussion followed by a motion by Self to deny the application based on the discussion of Considerations above. Second by Davis. Cossalman called for the vote, which was unanimous.

Cossalman closed this hearing.

Cossalman opened the public hearing 13-020 Abbott-Brooker Variance; the Commission voted to table the hearing until May 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm.

Cossalman opened the public hearing 13-026 Mastre Conditional Use Permit; the Commission voted to table the hearing until May 30, 2013 at 5:30 pm.

Self made motion to adjourn the meeting; second by Davis. The vote was unanimous.

Dan Studer