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Commissioners have a hearing problem

| September 3, 2023 1:00 AM

The Planning and Zoning Commission violated the people's trust on Thursday, Aug. 17, when they approved and advanced the 116-unit Providence Subdivision.

Two-plus hours of protests fell on deaf ears.

A hearing without listening was no hearing at all.

Despite "hearing" pleas for fire safety measures, the commissioners allowed the Providence Subdivision to have only one egress point. Wonder what the people in Medical Lake and Elk, Wash., have to say about the probability of being trapped in an emergency?

Also not addressed is the enormous impact this subdivision imposes on the surrounding community while the developer bears zero responsibility, accountability, or conditions. No street connections, no sidewalks, nothing for parks, no building permits, and zero revenue to the city of Kootenai.

A win for the developer.

Losses, all around, for the community.

Also not addressed was how Sandpoint utilities offered a "will-serve letter" for water to this developer — in direct opposition to its own comprehensive plan. Twelve years ago, it made annexation to Kootenai a condition for such a development (when 39 homes were proposed). In addition, Mayor Shelby Rognstad is on record stating that water to Kootenai and Ponderay is already at low-flow and low-volume.

Was this a hearing, or was this a business transaction? I ask because I believe the residents of this amazing area were just sold down the river.

JEANELLE SHIELDS

Sandpoint