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Squires' annexation and subdivision application

Decision Makers: P&Z Commission – City of Victor

Topic: Squires' annexation and subdivision application

April 24, 2007

City of Victor
Planning and Zoning Commission
P.O. Box 122
Victor, ID 83455

Dear Planning and Zoning Commission, 

I am writing on behalf of Valley Advocates for Responsible Development (VARD) regarding Ben Squires’ proposal to subdivide 11 acres south of the city.  At this time we are opposed to all annexation and subdivision requests in Victor because there is no Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) in place, the city is understaffed and cannot devote sufficient time and attention to each application, and the number of lots proposed will simply overwhelm the city’s infrastructure. 

VARD is not opposed to growth.  But we are opposed to unplanned development that threatens the health, safety, and welfare of the community.  There has been a lot of discussion among City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission about the city’s options for funding a new sewer plant.  While this is certainly a much-needed capital improvement, it is only one of many investments the city needs to make to accommodate the coming growth.  Until a CIP is produced, planning is and will remain guesswork. 

Since funding is such a central dilemma for the city, one option to consider is raising the fees for lot splits, subdivisions, building permits, and other related planning and zoning actions.  The city recently raised sewer hookup rates, which is definitely a step in the right direction, but still there are insufficient funds to hire another city planner to assist Mrs. Golden and the rest of the staff.  As an example, in nearby Blaine County building permit fees are assessed based on project valuation and they range from $676 for a $50,000 building to $3,300 for a $500,000 building.  These permit fees supplement P&Z fees and altogether this income funds 9 planning staff positions, well exceeds the department’s budgeted allowance, and contributes thousands of dollars to the city’s general fund.  Since financing a new staff position has been a goal for some time now, we hope you’ll consider raising your fees in order to pay for this much needed increase in human capacity. Without it the city won’t be able to do the groundwork necessary to accommodate the growth that is already well on its way.

Sincerely,

 

Ian Tuttle

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