Tuesday, February 27, 2024

County's decisions matter, affect us all

| November 27, 2022 1:00 AM

On Dec. 7, the Bonner County commissioners will decide on goals and objectives for the county Land Use Plan. While the plan update was not as inclusive and open as it should be, the Planning Commission did adopt some recommendations to better protect the public interest.

For instance, they included a goal under "Property Rights" that emphasizes property rights are a two-way street – acknowledging that land use actions impact people off-site. They included a policy to require "full urban services" for suburban densities. At its Nov. 3 meeting, the BOCC struck that language, and said the county lacked the jurisdiction to protect natural resources.

It’s this kind of leadership that has led to contamination of drinking water in a new subdivision north of Sandpoint (find the Daily Bee story on Project 7B’s Facebook page). A few years ago, the county removed requirements for developers to get approval for wastewater systems BEFORE getting subdivisions platted or to build homes (decisions that ignored our current land use plan goals). This is where county decisions matter and affect our health, natural resources and quality of life.

The revised goals and objectives can be read under file #AM0012-22 under Current Projects on the county’s Planning Department website. The current version, the Planning Commission and the BOCC versions are posted. The land use plan should reflect the public’s vision (not just developers’ vision) for how our county grows.



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