P&Z OKs Upland upgrades

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SANDPOINT — Bonner County Planning & Zoning Commissioners unanimously approved a conditional use permit Thursday enabling the expansion of the county’s solid waste collection site on Upland Drive.

There was no testimony against the expansion during a public hearing, which stood in remarkably stark contrast to a proposed expansion plan that was developed 18 years ago. Scores of neighboring landowners testified against the proposal, which at that time included a plan to begin accepting commercial waste at the site.

Opponents called the expansion plan a fundamentally bad idea based on flimsy premises. Concerns were also raised about traffic impacts and pedestrian safety.

“It was tough,” said Commission Chairman Don Davis, who remembers the rancor the original plan generated.

P&Z approved the expansion in 1999, but landowners successfully appealed county commissioners for the decision to be overturned.

The expansion plan reemerged in February, but included a provision for five 30-cubic-yard roll-off containers, which would have allowed the site to take bulkier waste.

“We got feedback almost immediately,” said Brad Marshall, a senior land use planner for J-U-B Engineers, which designed the site.

The large roll-off containers were ultimately jettisoned from the plan.

Marshall said the expansion will resemble improvements made at the Dufort Road site in Sagle.

“This is what this facility will look like in many ways — only smaller,” said Marshall.

The site will have sight-obscuring fencing and a 30-foot wide band of landscaping and trees to further conceal the site.

Planning Commissioner Brian Bailey moved to approve the permit.

“I believe this is a needed improvement just like the other two sites we approved last year,” said Bailey.

Planning Commissioner Trevor Kempton seconded the motion and it cleared the board without dissent.

Davis called the improved sites “fantastic.”

“As beautiful as a solid waste can be,” Davis hastened to add.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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