Boundary County Planning and Zoning Commission
February 13, 2014 Special Meeting
Attending: Matt Cossalman, Chairman, John Cranor, Ron Self, Marciavee Cossette, Caleb Davis, John Moss, Bruce Behrman. Excused absence: Steve Shelman. Staff, Dan Studer.
At 5:30 pm Matt Cossalman, Chairman, opened the regular meeting and read through the agenda, and introduced the members of the commission.
Cossalman read the script for the next agenda item, 14-003 Comprehensive Plan Amendment application by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Cossalman, as an opening, read an introduction and history he had prepared, giving the philosophy, scope, and need for the amendment.
At 5:40 Studer gave a staff report, reviewing Section 3.7.1. authority and Section 18.2 Legislative Actions and the procedure the commission will take in finding a recommendation to forward to the Board of County Commissioners.
Cossalman opened the floor to those in favor of the application.
Donna Capurso, Moyie Springs, ID thanked the commission members for their hard work and dedication. She mentioned being from California, which was highly restrictive. She expressed her appreciation for freedom loving people.
Linda Foramanti, Bonners Ferry; she agrees with the commission to not duplicate state or federal authorities, i.e. 14.3.3 take out federal - “use the land as see fit”. The taking of land by historical societies cannot be done by coercive means. Taking out statements in Surface Water was okay. She believes in minimum regulation and likes “the ability to earn a living on your land”.
Terry Capurso, Moyie Springs; Terry thanked the members of the commission for their work. He said the comprehensive plan process back in 2008 was contentious; he is happy to see items he felt were baggage back then be removed.
Craig Jensen, Bonners Ferry; he thanked the commission members. Craig likes how the plan focus's on freedom as a resource. He also appreciates how the commission avoids adding another layer of regulation on existing state and federal regulation.
Tom Bushnell, Bonners Ferry; Tom expressed his appreciation for the time and effort the commission has put into this. He stated that some people in the county will not like the commissions views, but that is the process we're in. He went on to explain that in Boundary County there appears to be a clash of two views, those who move here and love it – but then want to close it off to more people coming. These people tend to impose their views on others. And, there is the liberty view – do what you want without encroaching on your neighbor. Tom feels the commission has reached a good compromise.
Terry Capurso added that his business in real estate has shown him a number of people moving here from areas where there is heavy restrictions. These people love it here because of our philosophy of free land use.
Mark Mosley, Bonners Ferry; Agrees with others, and feels the plan clarifies things that were ambiguous, assures clarity in the plan, and keeps the county free.
Most of the people for the amendment identified themselves as freedom loving people who wish to protect the rural character of Boundary County. All commenter shared an appreciation for the work the P&Z commission put into this effort. They recognized the process can be contentious, and getting all to agree is impossible. The fact that duplication of regulation was eliminated and freedom of land use and less regulations was important for this group.
There were no people to speak neutral on the amendment.
At 7:00 Cossalman opened the hearing for those opposed to the amendment. Don Jordan, Naples Idaho and Tim Patton, Naples Idaho, spoke in opposition to the approval and forwarding to the commissioners this amendment.
Those opposed felt strongly that the rural character of Boundary County has to be protected into the future due to growth in population, and fear that we will lose what we have without more regulation. The issue of over-regulation was recognized, but the increase of road development, the possible erection of strip malls and such, were in vital need of regulation to stop or control into the future. Patton went on to agree that the removal of some “specifics” in the comp. plan and leaving them in the ordinance was OK. However, he objected to the removal of words that he felt were important. Words which give the people reading the plan the feeling of the importance the people living here give to protect the environment, streams, wildlife, and scenic integrity.
Cossalman moved to discussion, there being no further public testimony. Self appreciated the comments the group received acknowledging their efforts. Even those who spoke not in favor of the amendment supported portions of it and acknowledged their efforts, Cranor agreed. Behrman felt that opposing parties are more respectful of eachother now, compared to the past. The commission recognized that the issues of concern brought up this evening has been submitted to the group earlier last year, and addressed. Some items were moved around, and others were matters of philosophy, which are recognized but will never agree. Moss mentioned that many attending this evening left at the recess; this shows that any concerns they may have had were removed by what they heard.
Cossalman said he had detailed notes on comments, and nothing new was brought up that hadn't been considered or addressed. Cranor made motion to approve the amendment and forward it to the county commissioners. Self second the motion; there was no futher discussion. The vote was unanimous.
The next agenda item was commission personnel. Kim Peterson was interviewed by the commission members as a prospective replacement for a vacancy.
Following the interview, Cossalman broke into Executive Session for personnel IC 67-2345.
Cossalman returned the group to regular session. Cranor motion to recommend to commissioners Scott Fuller to fill the vacancy of Mike Weland. Marciavee Cossette second; no discussion. The vote was five in favor of the motion; the motion passed.
At 7:45 the meeting adjourned.