Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
January 8, 2001

Present: Mike Davis, Kerry Cottrell, Dirk Mace, Kurt Eidam, Connie Otteson, Mike Butterfield, Linda Crapo, Deb Coleman

Other Attendees: Karen Lords – P&B Administrator, Sue Sommer – P&Z Secretary, Brett Hill, Rick Byrem, Jerry Woods, Lora Lott, Mitch Jacobs, Kirk Jacobs, Jesse Lassley

Mike Davis called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.; Mr. Davis opened by welcoming everyone to the meeting.


Dirk Mace stated that there should be a change made on the minutes of November 20th, 2000, referring to the Eagles Nest Public Road Access issue. It needs to be amended, because the Fremont County Development Code states that the developer only has to maintain the roads ‘inside the development area,’ not any access roads ‘to’ the development area. Also, the county is not required to have ownership of the Cowen Road from the U.S. Forest Service as a condition to the approval of Phase II of Eagles Nest. Dirk Mace motioned to strike out any and all comments relevant to Eagles Nest Subdivision being required to maintain the roads ‘outside the development area’ or that Fremont County is required to have ownership of the Cowen Road from the U.S. Forest Service as a condition of approval of Phase II. The motion was seconded by Bill Butterfield and was approved unopposed.


Jesse Lassley was in attendance and represented SBA Towers. A preliminary Sketch Plan and Site Map were presented to all P & Z Members for review. Jesse Lassley explained the Sketch Plan and his Site Map… He clearly described location of planned building site and the physical description and dimensions of the tower. The property is being leased from Grant Richey (they are NOT buying it). The leased property will be the site of a 195’ lattice-type cell tower. There will be a 100’x100’ enclosed yard which will have a 6’ high chain link fence with 3-strands of barbed wire on the top. The tower will be located in the middle of the chained off area. The tower will have a 20’x 20’ base, triangle in shape. There is an access road to the property and an access easement road that will end at the 12’ wide doublewide chain link gates. The access easement road will be graveled. This is a lattice tower and not a guide-tower, therefore, there will be not be any lines supporting this It will be a free-standing tower and to be in compliance with FAA regulations there will be a 5’ lightening rod at the top with a lighted area for aviation purposes. An in-house engineer has made sure that this project is structured to withstand high frequency winds, etc. The footings were structurally engineered and determined that they are to be set 25 feet under the ground in cement/concrete with intermittent rebar. This property is located near Aspen Heights Subdivision behind Keith Richey’s home. Karen Lords stated that she had spoke to Grant Richey and one of the requirements stressed in the contract, because the county has no rules and regulations in place for cell towers, is that ‘if for some reason SBA Towers disbands or no longer has a use for the cell tower, that the tower will have to be removed from the leased property.’ There is a grove of trees between Keith Richey’s home and the tower, which actually hides the tower and acts as a buffer between the homes and the tower.

Mr. Lassley explained that SBA Towers is a twelve-year established business who ‘solely’ builds towers and leases out spots on the towers to multiple carriers (such as Sprint and AT&T). These carriers are NOT in the tower erection business and therefore they contact a tower company (such as us) and propose leasing spots on a tower with the understanding that the tower they will be using is well built and safe and will be able to support their expensive equipment to be mounted on the tower. SBA has a corridor of 13 towers from American Falls to end on Grant Richey’s property. These will be built under radio frequency engineered plans, so that these towers will get actual highway and city coverage.

Karen Lords enlightened the P&Z Board about the lack of any rules and regulations pertaining to Cell Towers in Fremont County. A decision should be made tonight as to whether SBA can go forward to a Public Hearing. A decision can be based on the public comments made at the Public Hearing and because there are no current rules and regulations, this is one of the few times that public comments can be considered in determining the approval of the permit/project.

Rich Zimmerman moved to approve SBA Towers’ location. The motion was seconded by Dirk Mace and carried, unopposed. A Public Hearing will be scheduled for February 12, 2001 at the next P&Z meeting.


Karen Lords explained that she has reviewed the proposed plans and the Development Codes and from this information has made a determination that this project should be considered a Large Scale Development. As the next step you, as a Commission, need to make the determination that you either agree or disagree with this determination. According to our Development Code, to become Large Scale Development any development ‘that is over 60 lots’ should be considered Large Scale Development. Therefore, studies have to be done and the information gathered taken into consideration in order to approve development. The Highway Dept. needs to make determinations as to what kind of traffic control is required, what level of maintenance is required based on the amount of use and any structural bridge determinations to handle projected additional traffic. (Because this particular property is located on the Island Park Reservoir, the Rancho McCrea Bridge would be involved in determining additional use and maintenance.) In order to continue as a Large Scale Study, you need to decide tonight whether you agree with the Planning and Building Dept.’s determination of this being Large Scale Development. The next step would be that the P&B Dept. asks the developer to put in place “X” amount of dollars for a Large Scale Development, which will sit with the county until these studies are completed. From these set-aside funds, study fees and/or costs will be paid from. (The dollar amount will be based on the number of lots and the estimated costs.) If and when the studies are completed and the set-aside funds are not totally depleted, a refund will be returned to the developer.

Copies of the packet were disbursed to the P&Z Board. Rick Byrem explained that this proposed development is adjacent to previously developed and completed projects known as Centennial Shores (41 lots/76 acres) and South Shores (20 lots). Location was pointed out on provided maps – and are to be split out to 112 lots over 438 acres. All lots will be served by a central water system. There is an existing community well located on Centennial Shores and one to be installed in South Shores development area and this new project will be tied into that water system. No lots will be smaller than an acre (Typically 1-1/4 acre is the smallest lot and the larger lots are 4-5 acres with the average size being 2 acres.) The developers are NOT encouraging high density, therefore, taking into consideration the size of the lots, individual septic systems are planned and more than adequate. Karen Lords stated that it is not a requirement for the development to hook into community sewer. The P&B Department can highly recommend a community sewer system and does give extra points for doing this, but the Development Code does not require it

Further question and answer discussion followed.

Based on information heard, Rich Zimmerman motioned to consider this development as Large Scale Development. Kurt Eidam seconded and the motion to approve as Large Scale passed unopposed.


The Board was provided a list of suggested Code Amendment Changes with the Agenda. There was open ‘question and answer’ session about proposed changes to the Development Codes.

All Board members recognize that there are code changes that need to be changed, altered and/or added. After a lengthy discussion board members thought it wise to invite County Attorney Trent Grant to the next meeting to discuss the legal issues required to change the Codes.


Linda Crapo made a motion to adjourn the meeting and was seconded by Connie Ottesen. Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.