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MD Nursery permit discussed; Subdivision vacation at 528 South 50 West approved; Pitchfork PUD Final Plat approved

MD Nursery permit discussed
The 60-day deadline for MD Nursery to re-submit its conditional use permit application as directed by P&Z has passed. Planning Administrator Lorie Grebe discussed the results of her site visit to review the kinds of items sold at MD Nursery (such as plants, yard tools, kitchen wares, blenders, sofas, children's toys, candles, etc.) The commissioners discussed the non-compliance of the café with the current uses permitted at the garden store/nursery. MD attorney Sean Moulton stated that MD did not re-submit their application as directed by P&Z because the commission is a “kangaroo court” that plays to the whims of special interest groups, like VARD.  This accusation is not supported by the facts, including the P&Z voting record.  The P&Z commission is a diverse and hardworking group of individuals who are respectful to each other and to applicants.  Commissioner Trupp echoed the sentiments that P&Z is a “kangaroo court” and that he sympathizes with MD and their refusal to comply with the 60-day deadline. Commissioners Young and Stevenson reminded Commissioner Trupp that the MD permit is an equity issue. The onus has always been on MD to come in the front door and work this out with the county. Commissioner Young furthered that Trupp's logic would punish all those business owners who try to be up front with complying with county ordinances.  The three commissioners all agreed that the café was out of compliance with the permit. Commissioners Young and Stevenson also voted to have P&Z run a full permit review.

Subdivision Vacation at 528 South 50 West approved
When this application for vacation of a 2-unit subdivision was originally presented before P&Z back in January, it raised interesting issues regarding minimum size requirements for subdivisions and PUDs. The earlier subdivision was comprised of 2 lots: 2.5 acres and 16.6 acres. The owner of the 16.6 acres applied to vacate the subdivision against the objection of the 2.5-acre owner. The lots are located in an Ag2.5 zoning district. By vacating the earlier subdivision, the owner may now proceed to apply for a PUD. VARD commented to the BOCC on how the P&Z thought this process was akin to getting 2 bites at the apple: there was the original one-time lot split to create the subdivision, and then the later PUD development to get higher density housing. We further commented that subdivision vacations may well be the next “big wave” to hit the county as developers realize that their hastily-platted lots are not selling as well as they hoped. The county's subdivision vacation ordinances need to be fleshed out in greater detail to deal with this upcoming reality, or the county will have nothing but the dictates of the Idaho Local Land Use Planning Act (LLUPA) to help them along as a tool. Commissioner Stevenson expressed an interest in developing better subdivision vacation ordinances. The BOCC unanimously approved the vacation.

Pitchfork PUD Final Plat approved
This was the final plat for a 31.99-acre PUD located east of 450 W. and south of 475 S. VARD commented regarding the availability of water for open space management and neighboring fire ponds, which will be used to protect this property. VARD is concerned about the procedural precedent: the issue of water supply should be emphasized in a development proposal. As water resources are continually taxed by increasing valley development, all developers should be required to provide certification of their water rights as a condition to construction. Land management plans must also acknowledge the reality that water supplies will be increasingly scarce, and design the property and landscaping to require little water. Susie Work commented as a neighbor regarding her concerns for winter safety on the road accessing this development. The commissioners approved this PUD with conditions mitigating the road safety issue and the open space management plan issue.

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