Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
March 19, 2001
Present: Mike Davis, Dirk Mace, Connie Otteson, Linda Crapo, Rich Zimmerman, Deb Coleman, Bill Smith and Karen Lords – P&B Administrator, Sue Sommer – P&Z Secretary,
Other Attendees: Rick Byrem, Jerry Woods, Jesse Lassley, Tom Ditterick, Grant Richey, Mitch Jacobs, Kristina Larsen (Representing the Bressler family), Todd Birch (Representing Piece of the Rockies, Inc.)
WELCOME: Mike Davis called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.
MINUTES: Minutes were reviewed prior to the opening of this meeting and it was brought to our attention that Bill Smith was not listed as being present at the February 19th meeting. The secretary will make that change and Dirk Mace motioned to, otherwise, accept the minutes as written. Bill Smith seconded the motion and it was approved unopposed.
DECISION – CELL TOWER – RICHEY PROPERTY – SBA TOWERS: Karen Lords explained that she had included all information pertinent to this subject from the last P&Z meeting. Since the last meeting, Mr. Richey made a final decision that he did not want the tower placed on his property and therefore has withdrawn his initial application. Because this subject was ‘tabled’ by the Board last week, the Board must NOW make a decision as to approve or not approve. There was a brief discussion as to the direction that SBA Towers would be going. Karen Lords explained about the numerous ‘other’ cell tower companies that have been in touch with the Planning and Development Office and assured Board that there will be several future Cell Tower Development applications coming in to review and make decisions on. Rich Zimmerman motioned to disapprove the tower proposed to be located on the Richey property. The motion was seconded by Connie Otteson and motion carried unopposed.
RESULTS OF LARGE SCALE STUDY – 112 LOTS – CENTENNIAL MOUNTAIN SHORES Karen Lords, provided the Board members copies of the letters she submitted to agencies in order to complete the Large Scale Development Study. She included in the packet: 1. Island Park District Study information with breakdown by years, subdivision, lots and PAOT (persons at one time), etc. 2. Response from District Seven Health Department 3. Letters to and from Weldon Reynolds, Fremont County Road and Bridge 4. Letters to and from Tom Stegelmeier, Fremont County Sheriff’s Department 5. Letters to and from MaryLou Davis, Fremont County EMS Coordinator 6. Letters to and from Ray Wolf, Idaho Department of Transportation 7. Letters to and from Glade Gunnell, Ralph Richey and Rob Kennedy – Island Park Fire Dept. 8. Letters to Gary Parker, Fremont County School District #215 9. Island Park Business Study – Broken down by number of available beds, maximum occupancy of people during summer months and maximum available RV or Tent spaces during the busy time of the season. 10. Letter from Chris W. Ketchum, Bureau of Reclamation -- US Dept. of the Interior 11. Letter from Robert J. Saban, Regional Supervisor for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Upon review of the letters, Karen Lords conducted a lengthy discussion on the issues relevant to the Large Scale Study. She explained the need to update issues relevant to the rapid growth in the Island Park area. There may be issues to be discussed in the near future, relevant to the ‘updating of’ and ‘provisions for’ handling emergency services in the Island Park area (EMS Service, Fire Department Services and officer coverage from the Fremont County Sheriff’s Department). The ideal plan would be to have all these services planned, equipment set up and/or purchased and the services available within the next five (5) years. This Large Scale Development Study is the first step in the decision process that the Planning & Zoning Board Members will be involved in. IMPACT FEES have been looked at relevant to the developers. Karen Lords explained that after a thorough review of this proposed Large Scale Development, she feels that all the requirements can be considered complete and recommend that they proceed with public hearing. She also feels that this particular development should not impact the already available services in the area. The study results show that the majority of the people affecting the emergency services are people recreating during the summer months, more so than what Mr. Jacobs is going to have going on in his development. If Planning & Building would have come to the conclusion that this development would have adversely affected the emergency services in the area, we could have recommended that they provide a certain amount of money to the county (Impact Fees). The plan, at this point, is to take this Study and give it to the County Commissioners, when it gets closer to budget time, and show the amount of people that are impacting services in Island Park and, possibly, this info can do some good when they do the budget system for Emergency Services and the Sheriff’s Department in the Island Park area. Board members having knowledge of the Island Park area, enumerated instances of slack response times for emergency services in the Island Park area. They felt this Large Scale Development information would be instrumental in acquiring future funding in ‘that’ area. Board member, Rich Zimmerman, commended Karen for the excellent job she and her department did on gathering the figures before them today. Rich Zimmerman motioned to accept the Large Scale Development and proceed with Public Hearing on this project. Dirk Mace seconded the motion and was approved unopposed.
PUBLIC HEARING – CENTENNIAL MOUNTAIN SHORES – ISLAND PARK AREA -- CENTENNIAL MOUNTAIN PROPERTIES Karen Lords properly posted and published Public Hearing notices for this development. Rick Byrem, developer for Centennial Mountain Shores, reviewed in detail the plat maps for the Centennial Mountain Shores project and explained what is being proposed for this new subdivision. After Rick presented the proposal Karen Lords read and/or reviewed the following:
1. P&B Memo, which stated the ‘Nature of this Application,’ reason and result of the ‘Large Scale Study,’ the ‘Site Description and Analysis’ and ‘Applicable Performance Standards.’ 2. New Subdivision Comment Letter from Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. 3. Idaho Fish & Game Letter from Robert J. Saban, Regional Supervisor 4. U.S. Dept. of Interior/Bureau of Reclamation Letter from Chris W. Ketchum, Acting Deputy Area Manager
Mike asked if there was any Board Member that may have a conflict of interest in this Project/Public Hearing and all members assured there was not. Board members were offered the opportunity to ask the developer, Rick Byrem, any questions pertaining to this project. There was open discussion with the Board and Rick Byrem relating to the ‘Water, Well and Septic’ issues, road widths, right-of-ways and cul-de-sac turnaround widths. After Board had all their questions answered, the hearing was opened for public comment. Public comments were made by: Ralph Robison – 1920 N. 3000 W. – Rexburg, Idaho - Made comments relating to getting the Board to enforce and encourage use of a specific septic treatment system. Jerry Woods – District Seven Health Dept. – Mr. Woods responded to Mr. Robison’s request by stating that, currently, county and state agencies do not have any policy’s requiring property owners to use one specific type septic system over another type septic system. Mr. Woods said that he can, however, do the test studies for the property and then can determine suggestions – but cannot require people or buyers to install or use the more expensive systems. He explained the process he used in determining that Centennial Mountain Shores would and could comply with the septic/sewer requirements.
With no further public comment, the Chairman closed public discussion. Rich Zimmerman made a motion to go forward to Final Plat on this issue, contingent on the recommendations made by the Idaho Fish & Game and the Bureau of Reclamation. The motion was seconded by Dirk Mace and carried unopposed.
PUBLIC HEARING – RV STORAGE UNITS – LOCATED IN THE ASHTON AREA ON MERLIN AND DARLENE BRESSLER PROPERTY Kristina Larsen, daughter of Merlin and Darlene Bressler, was in attendance to represent the Bressler’s due to Darlene Bressler having knee surgery. Karen Lords stated that legal notice was published, mailed and posted properly. The Board Members declared that there was no conflict of interest and therefore the Public Hearing can go forward. Karen Lords provided in the packets copies of the Permit Application, sketch maps, Plan and Development Review of the proposed project. Karen read the Planning and Building Administrator’s Report, which explained the Nature of the Application, Site Description-Analysis, Applicable Performance Standards along with P&B Administrator’ recommendations. There was a short question and answer discussion relating to: 1. The property description (map directions having been reversed in error) 2. Trees for buffering were suggested, but not required conditions for approval 3. Size of Storage Units being 35’ deep
Karen Lords explained that this development came before the board over two years ago, but had been put on hold. The plans are, basically, the same as previously provided with the exception of moving it a bit on their site plan. The discussion was opened for Public Comment but there were no Public Comments, therefore, Public Comment was closed. Linda Crapo motioned to approve the development of this project. It was seconded by Connie Otteson and passed unopposed.
SKETCH PLAN – SBA TOWERS – CELL TOWER LOCATED NORTH OF ASHTON ON GENE AND BARRY BOYLE PROPERTY Karen Lords provided Board the information/letter from SBA Towers, stating their proposed development on the Gene R. Boyle property located directly across the highway from the originally proposed location at Grant Richey property. This new location is just south of the old Ashton Landfill, outside of the Grandview Estates Subdivision. Karen provided pictures of the site showing road entering the property, views toward the east and west. Jesse Lassley of SBA Towers described the reasoning of the proposed new location area in that Grant Richey backed out at the last minute and that they had to find a piece of property that fell in the Radio Frequency range that would be more than adequate for coverage of cell phone range. This tower will sit high enough on the hill that it will not be as visible to the property owners in the area. This proposed tower will be 50’ taller than the originally proposed tower, but because of the higher elevation and having to accommodate the tower being among 140’ to 160’ trees the tower had to be lengthened the extra footage. Karen Lords stated that she had received a call from the City of Ashton and they stated that the Boyle’s property does not have access to this property, because the access road proposed is the road used to access the gun range. Boyle’s do not have a legitimate easement to use this road, but they are in the process of obtaining this easement. Jessie stated that he has contacted the City of Ashton and they have discussed the easement and has made an offer for compensation for this easement road to the property. Karen stated if the City of Ashton denies an easement access through the Landfill property, then SBA will need to get an easement through Grand View Estates in order to access this property. Most sub-divisions have privately owned and maintained roads and, therefore, the City or County has no jurisdiction over them. SBA Towers would then be required to obtain an easement through Grand View Estates. Karen Lords has been notified that there is no utility/power easement to this property and this issue should be taken into consideration prior to this development. Jessie Lassley stated that when the access easement issues are addressed the utility issues would, also, be addressed and included. SBA Tower’s issue now is that the City of Ashton wants the tower placed on their property, at the old Landfill, and the City of Ashton is stating that Boyle’s have no easement and, therefore, the City is ‘holding out’ for maximum monetary compensation for use of the Landfill property and/or easement access to the Boyle property. SBA Towers is exploring all avenues for economical, environmental and most advantageous usage placement in order to determine how to approach these issues. Hopefully, within the next couple weeks, these issues should be resolved. Jessie stated that the Landfill site is in a hole, which makes this location disadvantageous to getting maximum cell phone coverage. SBA Tower’s RF Engineering Dept. states that the Landfill location it is not a feasibly location for the tower. Karen Lords informed SBA Towers that the access/utility easement issue has to be resolved prior to Public Hearing in April, 2001. The Planning and Zoning Board cannot and would not approve this permit until these issues are resolved. The problem is that if the Board approves this construction in April and SBA Towers did not have an access/utility easement to the property (at the time of approval), it would put the county ‘at jeopardy’. The Board can, however, give ‘conditional’ approval on this issue, based on the fact there will be an available road and utility easement to this property. There was a lengthy question and answer session about the location, construction time-line for completion, length of contract with property owner and future ‘non-use’ structure disposal clauses.
SBA Towers should provide to the P&B Department the ‘documentation of intent’ covering the access/utility easement, before the Public Hearing is scheduled (April 16th, 2001). Karen Lords stated the “before construction can begin on the SBA Towers, the access/utility easement issue MUST be resolved. Even though, SBA has two years from the date of the approval letter to complete construction, they must not begin construction until these issues are resolved and, better yet, a copy of the agreement provided to the P&B office for their files.”
Deb Coleman motioned to approve the sketch plan based on the conditions of the access/utility easement being addressed and resolved. The motion was seconded by Dirk Mace and passed unopposed.
SKETCH PLAN – SBA TOWERS – CELL TOWER LOCATED NORTH WEST OF ST. ANTHONY ON ‘PIECE OF THE ROCKIES, INC.’ PROPERTY (ADJACENT TO BIRCH’S PROPERTY) Karen Lords provided the Board the information letter from SBA Towers, stating their proposed development on the Piece of the Rockies (Monte Egbert, President and Todd F. Birch, Director) property, located North of St. Anthony on the road going toward the new high school. This particular land site is accessed on the Landfill road. Karen Lords called Land Acquisitions after she received the paperwork/permit application from SBA Towers indicating that they (SBA) wanted to put a cell tower on this property. Land Acquisitions stated that they would be submitting a Sketch Plan to the Board for the next P&Z meeting, which is located in the same area as to where SBA is asking on Piece of the Rockies. She indicated to Land Acquisitions and also to SBA that it would be poor planning on the Planning & Zonings part if we approve two different cell towers and there would only be one or two antenna’s on each tower. They need to be working through and deciding how many carriers they can get on one cell tower, because we see no sense in approving two towers and not having them fully used. Looking at the amount of Towers we’re being bombarded with we think it would be in the best interest of the county if we have one cell tower on that property. Please be aware that there have been other cell towers and cell phone companies that are interested in building towers of their own in this area.
Jessie Lassley presented SBA Towers’ proposal for the site in St. Anthony. They are proposing a 250’ lattice tower to be constructed west of the county Landfill (and very similar in structure to the tower located in Ashton). This tower can provide coverage/access for 8-10 carriers (therefore, eliminating the need of any additional towers within 1 mile of this location). SBA Towers has been approached by Sprint PCS as a carrier to be added on their tower. US Cellular have approached SBA Towers for an estimated completion time for the tower and monetary figures relevant as a co-habitation carrier. The packets provided to the Board described the plan of this cell tower.
At the completion of a question and answer session between the Board and SBA Towers, Rich Zimmerman motioned to accept the Sketch Plan and go forward to Public Hearing on this issue. It was seconded by Deb Coleman and passed unopposed.
ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT It was announced that Bill Butterfield resigned his position as a member of the City and County P&Z Boards. The City P&Z Board has approved Inella Douglas to replace Bill Butterfield and have asked that she be put on our Board to replace Bill Butterfield. Karen Lords will go before the County Commissioners on March 26, 2001 and ask for them to give approval to replace Bill Butterfield with Inella Douglas.
Zoning Code changes will be reviewed and discussed at the April 16th P&Z meeting. Trent Grant has been rescheduled to attend that meeting so as to give any input relating to County issues and/or standings.
There was a brief discussion about the multitude of calls from cell tower companies about putting towers in our county. The board needs to be aware of what is to come in the future, because of the advanced technology coming into this area.
Some items of discussion to be considered are: a. 99-year leases vs 5 year and/or renewable leases b. One tower location vs multiple locations in any given area c. Co-carrier towers vs multiple carrier towers d. Equipment removal upon technology out-dating or carriers up and leaving
ADJOURN Connie Otteson made a motion to adjourn the meeting and it was seconded by Linda Crapo and approved unopposed. Meeting was adjourned at 9:10 p.m.