This is an exciting time and you have an exciting opportunity to be a part of the Boundary County community! There is an opening on the Boundary County Planning and Zoning Commission. With this opening in mind, and since most people in Boundary County are unaware of the responsibilities and duties of a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, please check out Section 3. Administration of the Land Use Ordinance; refer to Sections 3.6. and 3.7. to understand the duties and responsibilities of membership and what is involved in applying.
3.1.Types of Land Use Decisions: In administering this ordinance, all decisions made will fall under one of the three following classifications:
3.1.1. Administrative: Decisions made under authority granted the administrator and decisions involved in the management of this ordinance, to include establishing rules and methods for the keeping of records, processing and documentation of applications, the establishment of rules of procedure for the conduct of meetings and other like actions or decisions which do not address a specific application, request or complaint.
3.1.2. Legislative: Decisions involved in the establishment or amendment of law. Legislative decisions will not address or affect a specific application, but may be initiated as a result of or in response to any action or situation where it is deemed that existing laws are not serving the public interest. Legislative actions include review and adoption of amendments to the comprehensive plan, amendments to the comprehensive land use map, amendment of this ordinance or replacement of this ordinance following comprehensive plan review, and administrative zone map amendments, which affect an area encompassing the lands of multiple property owners or comprise a definable region. Legislative actions will always be subject to at least two public hearings; at least one by the planning and zoning commission to forward a recommendation, and at least one by the board of county commissioners to render a final decision. Generally, neither conflict of interest nor ex-parte communication issues apply.
3.1.3. Quasi-Judicial: Decisions made in response to specific land use applications (also to include some legislative zone map amendments) in which facts are provided, public hearing(s) held, evidence weighed and conclusions are rendered pursuant to the laws established by this ordinance. In all quasi-judicial matters, conflict of interest and ex-parte communication are prohibited.
3.2.Continuation of Offices: At the time of adoption of this ordinance, all offices, employees and officers established by Boundary County Ordinance 99-06 will continue forward without interruption or disruption, subject to the provisions established herein.
3.3.Office of Planning and Zoning: The Office of Planning and Zoning is continued, with its primary duty the administration of this ordinance. The office may be assigned additional duties and tasks at the discretion of the board of county commissioners.
3.4.Position of Zoning Administrator: The position of zoning administrator, hereinafter “administrator,” is continued, with the primary duty to conduct and oversee the functions of the office.
3.5.Primary Duties of the Administrator
3.5.1. Office Management: The administrator is responsible for management of the office pursuant to Boundary County Job Description PZ-01, as amended.
3.5.2. Receive and Process Applications: The administrator will receive, process and document all applications for permits and processes established by this ordinance and perform all necessary steps necessary to see them carried through to completion. In receiving applications, the administrator will serve the interests of the county, interpreting requests and advising the applicant on all processes, procedures and provisions herein that are pertinent to the use or action proposed. The administrator will assist each applicant to ensure that applications are complete, but will not have authority to withhold processing an application once submitted and fee paid except where decision authority is granted the administrator.
3.5.3. Decision Authority Assigned: The administrator has authority, provided all applicable provisions of this ordinance are met, to approve simple subdivision, special event and development permit applications for uses within each zone district identified as Uses Requiring Administrative Development Permit.
3.5.4. Recommendation Authority Denied: The administrator will not have authority to recommend approval or disapproval of any application presented for which decision authority is not assigned, but will analyze the facts of each application so as to render an objective written staff analysis for the consideration of the deciding body.
3.5.5. Limited Authority Granted: The administrator is granted limited authority to effect compliance with the provisions of this ordinance, as defined in Section 4, to include the right to receive and document complaints, to notify affected property owners of alleged or potential violations, to render opinion as to whether or not a violation exists based solely on the facts of the allegation(s) and the provisions of this ordinance, to attempt resolution and abatement of violation short of legal action through the establishment of agreement(s) to bring about compliance within a reasonable period of time, and to forward to appropriate enforcement authority any complaint not so resolved. The administrator is not granted police powers, those being reserved to the Prosecutor and the Sheriff, but will in all cases assist and advise those agencies when requested in the investigation and prosecution of violations of this ordinance.
3.5.6. Ex-Officio Clerk of the Planning and Zoning Commission: The administrator will serve as ex-officio clerk of the planning and zoning commission and keep and maintain meeting agendas, minutes and records on all matters coming before the planning and zoning commission. The administrator will represent the planning and zoning commission on all matters forwarded by that body to the board of county commissioners unless such representation is assigned, by motion passed, to a member of the planning and zoning commission.
3.6.Planning and Zoning Commission
3.6.1. Continuation: The Boundary County Planning and Zoning Commission is continued to serve as the deciding body where authority is granted and in an advisory capacity to the board of county commissioners on other land use matters as established by this ordinance.
3.6.2. Membership/Compensation: The planning and zoning commission will consist of nine members, who will serve voluntarily and without compensation except for reimbursement of expenses specifically authorized by the board of county commissioners.
3.6.3. Appointment/Term of Office/Qualification of Members: Members of the planning and zoning commission will be appointed by resolution of the board of county commissioners and will meet the residency requirements established at IC-67-6504. County commissioners may, at their discretion, also include area of residence within the county as an additional criterion so as to assure balanced representation. The appointing resolution will specify the effective date of appointment as well as the expiration of the term of appointment. Terms will be staggered so that no more than five terms expire within any two-year period. The term of office for members of the planning and zoning commission will be four years. Where a new member is appointed to fill a vacancy created by an expiring term, that member will be appointed to a full term. Where a new member is appointed to fill a vacancy created by resignation, that member will be appointed to complete the remainder of the term vacated. Membership shall be limited to not more than two full terms.
3.6.4. . Filling Vacancies: In the event of a vacancy, either by completion of term or by resignation, the administrator will publish notice of vacancy in available media so as to solicit letters of interest from those qualified and wishing to serve, and will schedule review of those letters and schedule applicants interview on the next available planning and zoning commission agenda. Upon review and presentation by interviewed applicants, the planning and zoning commission may either direct staff to seek additional letters of interest and table the review or forward to county commissioners a recommendation as to who should fill the vacancy, made by motion and majority vote. The administrator will forward the recommendation, along with all letters of interest submitted, to county commissioners and set a date on the agenda for initial review. County commissioners may make final decision based on the merits of the planning and zoning commission recommendation and the content of the letter of interest, table a decision to allow for interviews with prospective members, or direct the administrator to seek additional letters of interest for consideration by the planning and zoning commission.
3.6.5. Meetings: The planning and zoning commission will hold regular meetings once per month except when no agenda items are scheduled, and will hold special meetings or workshops as needed to conduct the business of the planning and zoning commission, as approved by the chair. Pursuant to IC 67-6504, at least nine regular meetings will be held each calendar year. The regular meeting date, time and location will be set by motion and majority vote of the planning and zoning commission at the first regular meeting of the calendar year.
3.6.6. Meetings will be Open/Quorum/Voting by Proxy: All planning and zoning commission meetings will be conducted to conform to the requirements of the Idaho Open Meeting Law. In order to conduct business or make motion, a quorum of half the assigned membership, not considering fractions, plus one member. Vote by proxy of a member anticipating absence at a meeting is prohibited, though the absent member may submit written comment for consideration on any application or item on the agenda.
3.6.7. Election of Officers: At the first meeting of each calendar year, or at the next scheduled meeting following vacancy of an office, the planning and zoning commission will elect, by nomination and majority vote, a chair, who will preside over and conduct meetings, having the vote solely to break a tie, and a co-chair, who will preside over and conduct meetings in the absence of the chair. In the event both the chair and the co-chair are absent at a meeting and a quorum of members is present, a special election will be held prior to the conduct of business to appoint an acting chair for that meeting.
3.6.8. Removal of Members: A member may be removed from the planning and zoning commission following three unannounced absences from regular meetings in any consecutive twelve-month period or by willful failure to reasonably apply the provisions established by this ordinance. The planning and zoning commission may recommend the removal of a member on the above grounds by motion and majority vote. The board of county commissioners can remove a member based on the recommendation of the planning and zoning commission or by direct action.
3.7.Powers and Duties of the Planning and Zoning Commission
3.7.1. Comprehensive Plan: The planning and zoning commission has the duty to conduct the comprehensive planning process for Boundary County in conformance with the provisions of IC 67-6507 and IC 67-6508, pursuant to the provisions of Section 20.2.
3.7.2. Decision Authority Granted: The planning and zoning commission will interpret the provisions of this ordinance specific to individual applications so as to render reasoned written findings supporting a final decision on applications for variance and conditional uses. At the discretion of the planning and zoning commission, final action on an application may be tabled until the next regular meeting to allow review and adoption of the written findings and decision. No decision by the planning and zoning commission will be considered final until signed by the chair.
3.7.3. Recommendation Authority Granted: The planning and zoning commission will interpret the provisions of this ordinance specific to individual applications so as to render written findings supporting a recommendation to the board of county commissioners on applications for temporary use, development agreements, long-plat subdivision and non-administrative zone map amendment, and will likewise forward findings and recommendation to county commissioners on applications to amend the Boundary County Comprehensive Plan, administrative zone map amendments, proposed city area of impact agreements and proposed amendments to this ordinance. At the discretion of the planning and zoning commission, final action on a recommendation to county commissioners may be tabled until the next regular meeting to allow review and adoption of the written findings and recommendation. When deemed necessary by the planning and zoning commission, it may, by motion and majority vote, initiate application for legislative actions, including administrative zone map amendments and amendments to the comprehensive plan, the comprehensive plan map or the zoning ordinance.
3.8.Powers and Duties of the Board of County Commissioners
3.8.1. Final Local Authority: The board of county commissioners is the final local authority and arbiter for the interpretation and application of all provisions established herein, and will decide all appeals to final decisions of the administrator and the planning and zoning commission. Final decisions of the board of county commissioners may only be contested through action in a court of competent jurisdiction.
3.8.2. Decision Authority Retained: County commissioners will interpret the provisions of this ordinance specific to individual development permit applications so as to render written findings and decisions on temporary uses, development agreements, short and long plat subdivisions and non-administrative zone map amendments, and will likewise render findings and decisions on amendments to the Boundary County Comprehensive Plan, city area of impact agreements and amendments to this ordinance. These decisions will consider the facts of the application, testimony received during the public hearing process and, where applicable, the recommendation of the planning and zoning commission so as to render reasoned written findings in support of the decision. At the discretion of the board of county commissioners, final action on a decision may be tabled to allow review and adoption of the findings. When deemed necessary by the board of county commissioners, it may, by motion and majority vote, initiate applications for legislative actions, including city area of impact agreements, administrative zone map amendments and amendments to the comprehensive plan, the comprehensive plan map or the zoning ordinance.
3.9.Fees: Fees for application processes established by this ordinance will be set by resolution by the board of county commissioners.
Referring above to Section 3.6.4., notice of this opening has been published in the Bonners Ferry Herald, the County Website, NewsBF and other news sources. However not everyone has read or been made aware of these outlets and this is an opportunity to specifically draw your attention to the existence of this opening on the Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Commission itself is a nine member body, and by serving on the Commission you would plan to attend a meeting one night a month. This is usually on the third Thursday, from 5:30PM until the end of the meeting which normally follows a published agenda that takes approximately 3 hours to complete. One week prior to this meeting Commission members will be provided with an agenda outlining the substance of the next meeting. As a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission you would have a copy of the complete and current Land Use Ordinance as a reference, as well as a copy of the Comprehensive Plan currently in effect.
Once a decade, and 2018 is the next first year in this decadent cycle, the Comprehensive Plan is reviewed and established yet again as the guide and basis of the Land Use Ordinance. The fiscal year 2018 begins October 1, 2017. This means that should you become a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission at this time you will become an integral member of the Commission defining the direction of growth in Boundary County for the next ten years. This is an exciting time and an exciting opportunity to be a part of this community.
I urge you to consider volunteering your time and energy in this worthwhile community effort. Thank you for taking the time to read and consider this information. The next step is yours: a letter of interest must be received by July 13 2017 12:00Noon in order for the current Commission to consider your application and schedule an interview with you as part of the Agenda for the July 20 meeting at 5:30PM. Send this letter regarding your interest in serving as a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission to the Planning and Zoning Administrator at PO Box 419, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805, or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or hand deliver it by the same deadline to the Administrator’s office in the County Courthouse, Room 16, 6452 Kootenai St, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805 (Diagonally across from the Post Office and next to the County Sheriff’s Office).
I look forward to hearing from you! John B. Moss (Planning and Zoning Administrator)