Zone plan drawing mixed reviews

Print Article

SANDPOINT — A rezoning proposal for several local neighborhoods could mean big changes for the way people live and work in non-commercial regions.

Set for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Sandpoint City Hall, a public hearing will help city officials finalize specifications for mixed-use residential zones, which will allow businesses like professional offices, bed and breakfasts and pubs with fewer than 60 seats. Individuals residing in several residential neighborhoods, including those bordering Division Avenue, Pine Street and more will be impacted by the changes.  

The proposal carries its share of supporters and opponents. At an Oct. 1 public hearing, Kate Botkin said her neighborhood on South Third Avenue already feels like a mixed-use region and the changes fall in line with that atmosphere.  

However, others like Philip Levesque worry about the potential negative impact of businesses in residential areas. At the Oct. 1 meeting, Levesque said his home just off Division Avenue near Main Street was an excellent place to raise children. However, he worried that could change if businesses are allowed into the area.

In particular, he cited additional car and foot traffic, as well as an increase in crime and noise and light pollution.

In response, commission members pulled the zoning changes along Division back south of Main Street. However, they noted property owners could still request a zone change north of Main in the future.

North Division has long been a battleground when it comes to mixed use planning. According to Councilwoman Carrie Logan, planners behind the Sandpoint Comprehensive Plan had mixed uses for the city in mind while drafting the document in 2009. However, they engaged in much debate over the area north of Division and Main out of consideration for the apartments, homes and Farmin Stidwell Elementary School.

“My impression is we did go for mixed use originally, but Main Street ended up being our dividing line,” she said.

Other regions impacted by the proposed changes include areas of northern Sandpoint south of Schweitzer Cutoff Road, blocks near Pine and Michigan, sections just off Highway 2 and certain chunks of downtown Sandpoint — particularly around Bonner General Hospital. Most of these areas are currently designated as commercial neighborhood or professional office zones. However, small chunks of industrial general and residential will also be converted.  

The Sandpoint Planning Commission spent the last several months working on the new zoning in an effort to strike a balance between residential peace and flexibility. Members undertook the final round of revisions on Oct. 1 before clearing it for council inspection.

Those interested in seeing whether their specific address is affected can find a map and additional information at www.cityofsandpoint.com/cityagendas.asp and clicking on the “Public hearing on zone changes” link in the City Council section. 

Print Article

Read More News

5 dead in vehicle, knife attack at British Parliament

AP

March 22, 2017 at 10:04 pm | LONDON (AP) — A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage in the heart of Britain's seat of power Wednesday, plowing a car into pedestrians on London's Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police o...

Comments

Read More

Mudslide forces family off highway

March 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald BONNERS FERRY — Tuesday night, a hill broke loose in the 498000 block of U.S. Highway 95, just south of Mountain Meadows Road causing a vehicle to roll down an embankment. According to Boundary Co...

Comments

Read More

Otter inks state disaster declaration

March 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee BOISE — Bonner County is among seven counties in northern and north-central Idaho for which Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed disaster declarations for on Tuesday. Counties named in the state disast...

Comments

Read More

Giant Cd’A die is not your usual shore wash-up

March 22, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — Either God rolled a one or rising flood waters cast a giant die into Lake Coeur d'Alene last week. The latter was confirmed after the heavy steel object was recovered by Coeur d'Alen...

Comments

Read More