Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
February 11, 2002
PRESENT: Mike Davis (Chairman), Bill Smith, Deb Coleman, Dirk Mace, Linda Crapo, Kip Martindale, Rod Dalling, Karen Lords (P&B Administrator) and Sue Sommer (P&Z Secretary).
OTHER ATTENDEES: Jerry Woods, Larry Henderson, Mike Vickers and Ray Finch
WELCOME: Mike Davis called the meeting to order at 7:07 p.m.
MINUTES: Karen mentioned that the Minutes for November’s meeting should be amended to say that the meeting scheduled for January was cancelled (due to lack of projects) and that the February 18th meeting was changed to February 11th, 2002 because of a Holiday landing on February 18th (President’s Day). Dirk Mace motioned to amend and approve the minutes with these changes. It was seconded by Rod Dalling and approved unopposed.
PUBLIC HEARING – STONEGATE AT DEERCREST – 43 LOTS – RAY FINCH: Karen Lords advised that proper notice was mailed out, posted and published as required. The Board members declared that there was no conflict of interest and, therefore, Public Hearing could go forward. Provided in the packets were copies of the Public Hearing Notice, the Class II Permit Application, the Administrators Report, the Development Review Checklist/Scoresheet, letter from the Idaho Department of Lands, comment letters and photos of the proposed development property (taken last summer). Karen displayed the Preliminary Plat Map and pointed out that there was one change on the map, that the property in the bottom right hand corner, marked as owned by the Forest Service, in fact, is actually State owned land. There will be individual wells on this property, which still needs to be approved by the Department of Water Resources. These lots will be hooked to a community sewer system and will have to be presented to DEQ for their approval. These lots will be hooked into the existing Stonegate’s community sewer system. Karen read the P&B Administrator’s Memo relevant to this project and then Chairman, Mike Davis, asked if there were any questions for Karen relevant to the proposed project. Karen pointed out the 10 private lots – on the south boundary of these private lots is an easement that has been granted by David and Donna Gietzen when they owned the 30 acres. There is also a 10’ easement that the County inherited through a default from non-payment of taxes. The County has verbally agreed to and is currently following up with written documentation to grant a 10’ easement to allow access to these 10 private lot owners. A copy of the proposed Settlement Agreement, resulting from a court ordered decision in a lawsuit, between the Gietzen’s and the private property owners about access rights to these private property lots, was provided to each Board member for their review. It had fallen by the wayside but because of the issue over this proposed subdivision/Public Hearing, the issue had been renewed by some of the involved private property owners that needed access to their property. In the past, the Idaho Department of Lands had allowed access through their land to these 10 lots, but did provide a letter to Larry Henderson (dated Oct. 16, 2001) stating that they (Idaho Dept. of Lands) do not wish to grant a permanent easement across Idaho School of Science Endowment land. (A copy of this letter was distributed to the Board members for review.) Karen Lords advised the Board that some of the involved private property owners will be speaking tonight and the information just provided will give everyone a preliminary as to what is happening on this access issue. Chairman Mike Davis asked if there were any further questions for Karen Lords about this report. There were none. Ray Finch briefly described the layout of the proposed subdivision. He explained that the 10’ easement had been cleared and graded last summer. This will improve the value of the involved privately owned lots that will benefit the use of this access road. He explained that the proposed subdivision would have a pump/lift station from the last Stonegate development. Karen reiterated the fact that the developer will need to provide engineered plans to the DEQ for their approval on this proposed subdivision’s community sewer system. A ‘Development Agreement’ will be entered into between the developer and the County Commissioners. In this agreement, deadlines for completion of several areas of development will be elaborated on and indicated in this Development Agreement. (Roads, Septic/Sewer System, etc.) The estimated date of completion is proposed to be in 2003. Mike Vickers spoke on the proposed Impact Fees for this project. The County currently does not have any Impact Fees, but as a developer, it is not hard to see that any subdivision would impact an area. This specific development will need to provide some type of upgrade to the current system in order to provide proper service. As a developer, an upgrade to the current system (change the current 3 hp pump to a 5 hp pump at Huckleberry lift station) is being attempted. If this does not work then a proposed $13,000 ($220 per proposed lot) fee would be proposed in order to help upgrade the current pump station in any way that may be necessary. Jerry Woods briefly spoke on the new state requirements of hooking into an existing sewer system. A “reasonable” distance from an existing system may mean 200’ in one district, but in another it may be ½ mile (as proposed in Teton County.) Chairman Davis asked if there were any further questions. There were none. Karen read the Comment Letters from: 1. Department of Environmental Quality, dated January 8th, 2002 2. Fall River Rural Electric, dated January 21st, 2002 3. JBC-Jerome Bowen Construction & Landscape, dated January 25, 2002 4. E-Mail from Idaho Department of Water Resources, Dennis Dunn, dated January 29, 2002 5. Idaho Fish & Game, dated February 4, 2002 6. Letter from Bill Enget relevant to the Transfer of Development Rights (provided to Karen just prior to the meeting)
Chairman, Mike Davis, asked if there were any questions for Ms Lords or the developers. There were none so Chairman, Mike Davis, opened the meeting to Public Comment. Larry Henderson: He briefly spoke on the problem with the access to the private lots explained by Ms Lords earlier in the evening. He commented that he had been told that he needed to provide a $16,000 buy-in fee per lot, to pay for road maintenance on the proposed access. He stated that he cannot afford to pay that amount and it seemed unfair that he was ‘there’ first and yet, gradually, he has become landlocked. Ivan Nielsen: He explained that his concern was over the access to his property. He did not want to be landlocked and has tried to work with the Gietzen’s, the County and other property owners on using the access road. He felt that there was no cooperation at all and thus these comments. In fact, Mr. Gietzen fenced off the access road. This issue was taken to court and a Settlement Agreement was proposed – the Gietzen’s provided 10’ easement along this access road with the property owners providing a 10’ easement along the side of their property. Mike Vickers: He briefly spoke on the issues of existing covenants, access land lock that evolved from constant use of these homeowners through state land. The same access has been used that existed at the time of purchase of the private property many years ago. Access/use of the Stonegate roads by these private property owners cannot be approved by the developers, because the covenants state that 60% of the landowners in the subdivision have to agree to the access use by property owners outside of the landowners under covenants within the subdivision. It is not the developers right to approve/grant an easement/access. He also stated that upon sale or land swap of the state property, the grandfather usage of this road as access would and should come into play as a condition to the sale and/or trade. The state, in recent years, has taken the stand to try to not land lock any property from access, if at all possible. Karen Lords’ recommendation is that the property owners have already secured an easement on the south side of their private lots. What they need to do now is go to the County and get a secured easement on the east side of their private property and when, and if, the state property is sold/developed, the property owners within 1,000’ should be notified and, at that time, these private property owners can present the issue of an existing usage of access across the state property. This issue is not an issue relevant to this Boards decision process and/or jurisdiction at this point. When, or if, this property comes under private use, then this Board will have more control to allow continued access to these lots because of the grand-fathered access through the state land prior to transfer/sale into private ownership. With no further Public Comments Chairman, Mike Davis, closed the meeting to Public Comment and referred discussion back to the Board. The Board commented that the development seems to meet all the code requirements. Deb Coleman motioned to accept the proposal with the listed recommendations of Fish & Game as conditions of approval. The motion was seconded by Rod Dalling and approved unopposed.
ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT: Attached to the Board Members’ Agenda was a list of the Approved Permits that were issued for last three months. It was proposed that the meeting for the 3rd Monday in March be changed to March 11th, 2002 because of a proposed training scheduled in Boise being presented by the Idaho Association of Counties. This training is on Subdivisions, Annexations & Zoning Laws. If any of the Board members would like to attend, the budget does allow for some training expenses for the Board. Upon return from any approved training, (this is an ‘approved’ seminar) provide our office with your expenses and mileage and they will be presented to the commissioners for reimbursement. There were several members that would be interested. Deb Coleman motioned to move the March 18th meeting to March 11th, 2002. The motion was seconded by Dirk Mace and was approved unopposed.
DISCUSSION OF CODE CHANGES RELEVANT TO:
Karen Lords passed out the proposed changes of the Comprehensive Plan and reviewed them, briefly. The Board indicated that they had all reviewed the proposed changes and approved them as written. Karen indicated that the goal would be to go to Public Hearing possibly in March, but definitely by April. Karen indicated that Penny Stanford had called and stated that in 1999 there were state legislation changes in the statutes that defined that if there are no ‘major’ changes in the Development Code or Comprehensive Plan that we can do a Public Hearing and we are done. We no longer have to have a Public Hearing before the County Commissioners. Karen presented the proposed changes to Trent Grant, County Attorney, and he indicated that he would research and get back to Karen Lords. He hasn’t called her back yet. Karen reminded the Board about the Lot Split issues that the Board was supposed to think about and fine tune the changing of the wording/handling of a ‘minor subdivision,’ a ‘subdivision,’ a ‘lot split.’ Example: If a person comes in to do a land division and has only 1-5 lots to develop, we would force them to do a subdivision plat which would have to be recorded with the County, but Karen could do the approval and then the P&Z Board would not have to review and approve these smaller developments. They would be handled as a Class I Permit within the Planning & Building Department. There was a question and answer discussion of the current process. Before this year ends, this issue will have to be reviewed and modified. Continue thinking about this issue and we will discuss at a future date. Provided in the packets was a copy of the Fremont County Subdivisions and Lots. There was also a National Association of Counties letter, dated December 17th, 2002 relevant to the Western Community Stewardship Forum at the Sonoran Institute. Karen briefly described the Seminar being provided by this institute relevant to issues of any County development concerns. This may be a worthwhile Seminar when they present it again. It may be presented again in six months or so and we’ll think about sending someone to attend.
MOTION TO ADJOURN: Rod Dalling made a motion to adjourn the meeting and it was seconded by Bill Smith and was approved, unopposed. Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.