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The Planning Commission met on Wednesday, December 16th, with six members attending and assisted by Building Inspector Wayne Davidson and Planning Administrator Mitch Poulson (attending via Zoom). It was announced the sewer variance application on Fish Haven Canyon Road had been withdrawn. The published agenda was otherwise approved.

In a public hearing, Kyle Lessley presented a conditional use permit application for storage units on Highway 30 near Montpelier. Boats and RVs are to be enclosed in 12’x50’ or 12’x40’ spaces in four buildings, each containing 20 units. The units will be accessed by a paved drive and fronted by a block wall through a wrought iron gate. Fencing will not surround the entire property but electricity will be available. Mr. Poulson confirmed access was obtained from the Idaho Transportation Department. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the application.

A public hearing was held regarding Lon Tueller’s rezone application in Geneva and Paul Bytheway was spokesperson. The rezone would be from Agriculture to Rural Community which permits farm animals. Several parcels are under Mr. Tueller’s ownership in the vicinity but the rezone applies only to the five acres where a lot split is contemplated. It was pointed out that a building permit had been issued and footings installed but loan approval had stumbled due to the size of the property. Following discussion of a prior division of the property, clearance on the road access and having no comments from the public, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the rezone application and thereafter also unanimously approved the lot split application.

The next public hearing dealt with Kevin Kuhni’s conditional use permit application for a bed and breakfast near St. Charles approximately two miles north of North Beach Road on Pole Line Road. The 40 acre parcel would have a residence with an additional five rooms for bed and breakfast purposes on a year-round basis, Mr. Kuhni explained, located on the northwest portion of the property. Discussion ensued regarding lack of winter road maintenance. Mr. Kuhni responded that he was uncertain the bed and breakfast would operate after Labor Day and he intended to plow the county road. Mr. Davidson explained the County prohibits individuals plowing county roads. Other issues included high water table in the area and gaining the Health Department’s approval, St. Charles City’s impact area, distance from the lake, Department of Environmental Quality input, electrical service, neighbor opposition and County Road and Bridge Department comments. Vernan Hemmert, attending the hearing via Zoom, expressed concerns regarding the proposal. The Planning Commission unanimously moved to table the application pending receipt of additional information.

In an aside, the Planning Commission briefly commented on nearby signage advertising a lakeshore subdivision but no contact has been made with county or city authorities regarding it.

Regular business included Brett Crowther’s application for a lot split at 343 Cemetery Road in Dingle. Devin Skinner represented the applicant and explained the proposal is to divide a 20 acre parcel, each lot as near 10 acres as possible after the roadway from Dingle Road is laid out. The roadway easement would be 50’ wide with a roadbase of 24’. There were questions regarding overall lot numbers on property under the same ownership but Mr. Skinner responded that there are multiple parcels which he felt abrogated subdivision requirements for community sewer. He also relied upon the designation of the roadway within the property which, he said, could become county road, thus changing it from a private road to a county road. Another concern was location of a cul de sac or turnaround making emergency vehicles wrestle with access. Kristy Crane, Planning Commission Vice Chair, referenced ordinance provisions stating it is inadvisable to allow lot splits which bypass subdivision requirements. Mr. Skinner recalled the initial subdivision access through the cemetery road had been denied and a new road configuration set, thus, he believed these lots would not be added to those subdivided earlier. He restated his understanding that different parcel numbers invalidated the referenced provision’s applicability. Planning Commission members and Mr. Skinner exchanged reasoning and high water concerns identified during the initial subdivision were repeated. In-person attendees and Zoom participants were asked for input with none being given. Thereafter, the Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend the County Commissioners deny the application based on page 16, Section C of the Subdivision Ordinance which provides lot splits may not be used to subvert subdivision requirements.

A lot split at 4090 North Loop Road in Geneva was presented by JC Price. It was explained that a lot split had been made by Mr. Price’s father who was not aware of the county’s requirements and Mr. Poulsen indicated the application adheres to the family lot split scenario. No comments were made by audience attendees and the Planning Commission unanimously approved the application.

The Planning Commission voted to approve the Bylaws modified and printed by Mr. Davidson. In addition, the November minutes were approved as written.

During the work session, various agenda items were discussed. Mr. Poulsen further explained the situation with the proposed subdivision in Fish Haven Canyon. He reviewed previous applicant statements regarding a “vault system” for sewer disposal. However, recent discussion with the Health Department revealed difficult elements with vaults, including a certified operator. The applicants are reconsidering septic tanks or sewer district connection. The applicants are expected to return to the Planning Commission’s next meeting.

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