Cell tower ordinance; floodplain ordinance; Arrowhead Business Complex application conditionally approved
P&Z Holds Public Hearing on Cell Tower Ordinance
The Driggs P&Z held a public hearing on a proposed cell tower ordinance, which was a combination of a draft given to the P&Z by VARD, and the cell tower ordinances of Rexburg and Hailey. The P&Z reviewed a first draft of this ordinance several weeks ago in a work meeting. Since then, the planning administrator Doug Self has consulted the city attorney on the draft, as well as representatives from the wireless companies serving this area.
The important points in the draft ordinance are requirements that wireless companies co-locate their wireless equipment on an existing cell tower when feasible, and that wireless companies screen their towers from view using landscaping and painting. During the public hearing, a representative from Edge Wireless pointed out several potential problems with the ordinance and said that if the ordinance passed there would essentially be no new towers in Driggs.
During deliberation, all of the commissioners expressed their discomfort with approving an ordinance regarding such technical issues without further work. Several commissioners also expressed little sympathy to the wireless company. Commissioner Rick Baldwin stated that the wireless companies need to understand that the public goals of Driggs include protection of its scenic environment and that it would require extra effort on their part to provide services in this area.
The P&Z chose to table the ordinance and give Administrator Doug Self time to come back with a revised draft that they could review during a work meeting. The commission encouraged both Edge Wireless and VARD to be involved further in the process.
P&Z Holds Public Hearing for Floodplain Ordinance
The Driggs P&Z reviewed a floodplain ordinance that combined elements of Teton County’s floodplain ordinance, and a recent hydrological study done for a developer by Intermountain Aquatics. The ordinance would require new subdivisions to show the floodplain capacity needed for a 100-year flood event and design the subdivision to accommodate this capacity. The ordinance would also require subdivision identify areas where the creek channel is likely to meander in the future, and to provide adequate setbacks to allow the channel to move from side to side. The ultimate purpose of these requirements is to prevent future landowners from channelizing the creek, which impacts upstream and downstream landowners.
Although the P&Z expressed support for the ordinance, they were uncomfortable approving an ordinance involving technical hydrological issues without outside review. The P&Z chose to send the ordinance to engineer and floodplain modeling specialist, Jen Zung (Harmony Design) for comments. Once they receive Zung’s comments, they will review the ordinance again.
P&Z Conditionally Approves Arrowhead Business Complex PUD near Ford Garage
For the third time, the P&Z reviewed this U-shaped commercial PUD application, which would surround the Television and Film Institute on its west side. The developer, Robert Bressler of J&R Enterprises, has worked with the owner of the Television and Film Institute, Ted Hendricks of The Development Company, as well as surrounding landowners, to create a development plan that would be amenable to all parties.
The Driggs Planning Administrator expressed several concerns: Ted Hendricks has not yet signed off on the development plat, which the ordinance requires, and the Idaho Department of Transportation still has concerns about the creation of a frontage road within the development. Commissioner Rick Baldwin also raised some questions about specific design issues.
The P&Z approved the development with three conditions: 1) Ted Hendricks of The Development Company would sign off on the plat, 2) Idaho Department of Transportation would approve road changes, and 3) the development would go through the Driggs Design Review Committee prior to being sent to the city council for final plat review.