Council OKs zone changes, permit

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PRIEST RIVER — Four public hearings Monday evening resulted in the approval of several zone changes, as well as allowing conditional residential use in the light industrial zone.

Three of the public hearings were continuations from the July 15 City Council meeting, with the first being a proposal to amend the zoning map of approximately 30 properties, primarily businesses along the south side of Highway 2 and some along Highway 57. Per the ordinance, many of the lots will be changed from commercial to mixed use commercial or mixed use residential or vice versa, while others will change from mixed use residential to mixed use commercial.

During the July 15 meeting, city planning and zoning director Bryan Quayle said legally established current uses will be grandfathered in.

“No matter what happens with the zoning, it doesn’t change any requirements that they have for the existing operations,” Quayle said.

There was no public testimony, and council members approved the zone changes, along with some clarifications and corrections of scrivener’s errors within the zoning ordinance.

The next continued public hearing was in regards to allowing conditional residential use associated with businesses in the light industrial zone. The proposal stemmed from a request by Jim Caviglia and Wes Weaver to allow residential use in a business within the industrial park area of Shannon Lane.

The ordinance was approved, which led to the third continued public hearing because the owners of a business are required to apply for a conditional use permit to allow residential use. Caviglia and Weaver’s request was approved by council as well, pending publication of Ordinance 605.

In addition to the continued hearings, a public hearing was held on the city’s Idaho Community Development Block Grant of $500,000 from the Idaho Department of Commerce. The funds are going toward the downtown revitalization project, and the public hearings are standard with the use of ICDBG funds.

Panhandle Area Council is administering the grant, so Dorian Komberec, the council’s program specialist, provided an update on the downtown project, including where it is at and the work that is left to complete.

To date, the first phase of the project for High Street has completed storm water, concrete sidewalks, roadway asphalt, illumination of lights and irrigation, she said. For the second phase, Main Street has seen completion of the waterline replacement, sub-grading of the roadway and partial curb replacement.

Remaining work on Main Street includes completion of curbs, sidewalks and pavement, as well as remaining lighting, irrigation landscaping, clay paver, signage, and pavement markings for the entire project.

Substantial completion of the project is scheduled for Aug. 16, Komberec said.

In accepting the ICDBG funds, the city was required to provide a cash match. To date, the city has paid $127,781.59 in cash expenditures, as well as $3,976.12 toward city employees who have been working construction for the project. The city’s remaining cash match is $57,958.29, Komberec said.

As of Monday, the city had expended $203,779 of the ICDBG funds, though Komberec said that would be increasing with the city next payout. Of the city’s total $2,042,606 budget, $1,178,474.46 has been spent on the project.

“We are looking at a closeout for the grant in October, so all in all it has gone very well,” Komberec said.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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