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The October 20, 2021, County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting was attended by Albert Johnson, Chair; Kristy Crane, Vice Chair; commission members Rob Smith, Devin Boehme, Kay Beck and Patrick Reese; assisted by Mitch Poulsen, Planning and Zoning Commission Administrator, and Wayne Davidson, County Building Inspector.

Public hearings were held on several applications, the first of which was a conditional use permit for a gravel pit for Thomas Fork Ranch. Angela Rasmussen owns Thomas Fork Ranch and presented the application, explaining that the State of Idaho will be the primary user of the pit if approved. The State would like to have a local gravel source and approached Rasmussen to allow extraction while the Transportation Department pursues necessary permitting. Because the County controls underlying zoning for the site, Rasmussen applied for a conditional use permit to allow that use. The State plans to use the overburden at the site which had previously been placed in piles and may also do additional extraction if needed for projects in the area. During the comment period, questions were raised concerning water that may be used for washing gravel which could decrease the surrounding water table and also cause the adjacent creek to seep into any newly-opened gravel pit which would have negative consequences to other owners’ ability to water their crops. Rasmussen responded that there are no water rights with Thomas Fork Ranch and the State does not intend to use water at the site but will process the product elsewhere. Another negative impact could be the access to the highway and the use of additional trucks to haul the product, increasing accident potential. Davidson responded that such matters would be the responsibility of the Department of Lands and Johnson added that the concern about highway access was valid. Closing the public hearing and returning to the regular meeting, the Planning Commission approved the conditional use permit subject to the requirements of the Department of Lands and consideration of the Transportation Department regarding access. The vote was unanimous.

A public hearing was held regarding an application for variance by David Cottle regarding property he and his brother own adjacent to the Fish Haven Creek near the spot it runs under Highway 89 to empty into Bear Lake. The Cottle property has three small cabins along the rear or western property line and a hogan or round structure immediately to the east of those structures. Cottle requested a variance from the setback in order to rebuild the three structures in single story but on the same footprint as now exist. During the course of the discussion, Cottle modified the request to combine two of the rear cabins into one structure inasmuch as the distance between the two is approximately 3’. The footprint of those two buildings would thus be modified and enlarged from the original. It was explained that the landscape around the buildings make it difficult to place the structures elsewhere. Public comments focused on adjacent property’s potentially be impacted by the reduced setback should that owner wish to build near these structures. Again closing the public hearing and reverting to the regular meeting, a motion was made and seconded to approve the variance with the proviso that the proviso that a one hour firewall be installed in the rebuilt structures. The vote was unanimous in favor of the motion.

Alan Arthur represented Cabin Hollow Subdivision and a public hearing was held with respect to the proposed preliminary and final plat on that new subdivision located on the east side of Mountain Way in Fish Haven. The proposal is to create four lots from a lot which was originally created under an agricultural division. A road was installed at the site about a year earlier but the engineering required had taken time before the owner could present the proposed plat. The County Engineer has indicated there are 1 or 2 issues remaining to resolve, one of which is the length of the road inasmuch as it is 800’ in length which accesses the four lots while the ordinance limits a cul de sac to a maximum of 500’. The County Engineer had instructed that the applicant approach the Planning Commission regarding road length. Arthur explained the road had been designed to remain under 10% and the length was dictated by that design. Poulsen explained the maximum length is to provide emergency services access and turn-around. The radius of the cul de sac as built must be enlarged to meet ordinance requirements as well. Arthur continued that the plat shows an area for trash collection, water will be addressed through individual wells and that three lots will have septic tanks while Lot 3 can connect to the Fish Haven Area Recreational Sewer District on Mountain Way. Vice Chair Jensen inquired about the alternative to the excess road length mentioned by Arthur and he responded that the road could be shortened with the cul de sac located higher on the hill which would cut into lots 2, 3 and 4.

Public comments on the proposal included objections involving the CCRs of Bear Lake Executive Acres, which includes this parcel. The CCRs specify this lot cannot be resubdivided unless the adjacent lot has first been subdivided and the remaining owners in the agricultural subdivision unanimously agree to this lot being further divided. Poulsen stated that he had contacted legal counsel who opined that the agricultural subdivision was not a subdivision but that the CCRs filed with the record of survey “muddy the water.” On that basis, he explained, the CCRs are a civil matter. In addition, it was revealed an agreement was made by all owners in Bear Lake Executive Acres that the resubdivision restrictions be removed but that document has not been recorded. Objections were raised due to the lack of notice of the change and the impact on the neighbors’ homes as originally envisioned for the area. Proponents of the project included Spencer Bailey, a developer in the area, and Gary McKee from The Reserve. McKee created Bear Lake Executive Acres. Poulsen mentioned the possibility of extending the cul de sac which he stated could provide an additional egress point off Mountain Way, a matter which is of concern to the County Commissioners and neighbors in Bear Lake West as well as those along Loveland Lane. Via telephone, the property owner responded that he was amenable to extending the cul de sac 143’ which would allow it to eventually connect through other lots and an adjacent subdivision to create an exit from Mountain Way. Returning to the regular meeting, the commission members discussed the concerns, excess road length, undersized cul de sac and the possibility of extending the subdivision’s road to eventually provide an alternate route off Mountain Way. Clarification was made concerning sewer access for Lot 3 and that a house using the Sewer District line must be located close to Mountain Way. Consequently, the building envelope was specified for that lot and it will have access directly on and off Mountain Way rather than along the interior road. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to approve the subdivision subject to extension of the cul de sac road at a 50’ width to the property line, installation of a temporary cul de sac and a right of way/easement in favor of the County.

A Sharon area lot split by Devin Budge was presented by Mark Budge. Devin has preliminarily planned a subdivision at the mouth of Emigration Canyon but would like a lot split on the northwest corner of the larger parcel that would allow one lot to be sold ahead of the subdivision approval. It separates 4.1 acres from 45 acres. Considerable discussion was held concerning the process to subdivide if a lot split was created first or if it would be more advantageous to move forward with the subdivision without a lot split preceding it. The details and commencement of the 5 year waiting period before additional subdivision may be pursued was of concern to Mark and he commented that he was torn regarding which direction to take. Other matters involving access from the highway, cul de sac length, a potential transfer of properties between Devin and his adjoining neighbor and the not-yet-finalized plans for a nine lot subdivision which must involve any property subject of the lot split. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to approve the lot split.

Gabe Lleras, representing The Reserve, requested conditional approval of Phase 7 at his development He explained the plat has remained essentially the same since first presented but the structures will meet new standards. The plat was approved unanimously.

Minutes of the prior meeting were approved unanimously and the meeting adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

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