P&Z revisiting code changes

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SANDPOINT ­— The Bonner County Planning & Zoning Commission will be revisiting amendments to its subdivision code when it meets on Thursday.

A hearing on the code amendments starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Bonner County Administration Building.

The planning commission developed a series of recommended changes to the ordinance during a Sept. 15 workshop. The original code amendments were proposed by the county commission and Bonner County Planning Department staff.

“There’s 14 spots where the commission either added or took something out,” said Planning Director Milton Ollerton.

A number of the proposed changes are meant to address concerns raised by the public during prior hearings and meetings on the code amendments.

Notably, the revised code would require Panhandle Health District sign-off on all parcels involved in minor divisions of land, which are property splits which result in four or less lots.

There was discussion of waiving the septic sign-off at the time of the split for parcels that are 2 1/2 acres or smaller, but Ollterton said the P&Z is recommending that the health district be required regardless of the parcel sizes.

The planning commission further recommended that the four-year prohibition against selling a family-exempted division of land remain at four years.

The latest round of proposed changes also clarify that a minor land division can occur on a parcel only once and that further splits would trigger a short plat or subdivision process.

Planning commissioners are also recommending that a 14-day comment period for neighboring landowners.

County commissioners proposed the changes in an effort to expedite minor divisions of land and make them less costly to landowners. Ollerton said the latest round of changes are largely in keeping with the spirit of the commission’s goal.

“The P&Z Commission tried to include things in here that don’t necessarily raise the cost of a survey. raise the cost of the application process or make it more difficult to do,” Ollerton said.

One revision, for example, would require wetlands to be delineated on survey maps. That delineation can be shown by activating a data layer on a digital map.

“That should add any expense to it because the surveyor doesn’t have to find it on the ground. He just has to add it (digitally),” said Ollerton.

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