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Subdivision's approval creates a recipe for disaster

| September 12, 2023 1:00 AM

As a resident of Sunnyside Road, just outside of Kootenai, I read with disappointment the approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission of the 116 Unit Providence Subdivision.

As someone who drives daily on Highway 200 (an already congested corridor) through Kootenai/Ponderay, how can an additional 1,200 trips per day off of Providence Road be part of a sensible plan? A left-hand turn lane from Highway 200 onto Providence Road is the only concession required of the developer. Good luck to the residents on Providence Road trying to turn east. And good luck to all of the drivers who commute daily on Highway 200.

In the Bonner County Code, under Title 12 of Land Use Regulations, it states 12-111: Purpose: 1. To protect life and property in areas subject to natural hazards and disasters.

Is allowing only one egress not a natural hazard and a set-up for disaster?

Why would the Planning Commission not require multiple outlets through Seven Sisters and/or Firestone Lane in order to diffuse traffic? Has the commission not learned anything from the trials of not creating another egress at Ponder Point?

Why would the Planning Commission set up the residents of this subdivision and of Providence Road to be trapped in the event of an emergency?

Here we have another case of promoting the rights of a developer who doesn't bear any responsibility to the community that it is so adversely impacting.

When will our land use planners and commissioners consider the rights of the surrounding local community? Don't we have the right to be safe, to avoid risk and disaster scenarios? Where are the voices that speak for the community? Certainly not those we elected to represent us.

Idaho Secretary of State Phil McGrane recently stated that "all public officials serve at the pleasure of the people."

May the next election for commissioners reflect the people's displeasure at their lack of accountability for the good of all.

BEVERLY NEWSHAM

Sandpoint