Cabin rentals eyed in Lower Pack

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SANDPOINT — The Bonner County Planning & Zoning Commission is taking up a conditional use permit Thursday for a 15-cabin vacation rental operation and an event pavilion in the Lower Pack River Valley.

The public hearing on the Peaceful Pines Cabins proposal starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Bonner County Administration Building.

Gary and Susan Hoesel are seeking permit approval for the cabins, the pavilion and office/store on a 7-acre parcel off Olympic Drive, which is also known as Olympic Way on some online map databases. The site is on a forested parcel west of the Idaho Club.

Cabin dimensions would range from 432-612 square feet, while the pavilion would measure 4,000 square feet, according to the permit application.

“The applicants have designed a facility to avoid adjoining properties. Vegetative buffers are retained to prevent accidental trespass,” the Hoesels said in a scoping document.

The number of people on the site will vary by season and event, although the developers say 40-50 people on average are expected. They also contend the traffic impacts will be lesser than the impacts of developing single-family homes on the site, according to project documents.

The project spurred no public comment at the time the Bonner County Planning Department staff report was prepared. The Panhandle Health District advised the county earlier this year that the agency conducted a speculative site evaluation to determine if the soil in the area was suitable for subsurface sewage disposal.

“The soils in the very small and specific area were confirmed suitable, but this doesn’t confirm the project is suitable,” the district said in a Feb. 26 agency comment on the proposal.

The developers haven’t yet submitted a subsurface sewage disposal permit application.

“This is a very large project will require multiple agency reviews of engineered plans for the drainfield and collection system,” the health district said.

Panhandle Health said it will not issue a permit for sewage disposal permit until the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality reviews requirements for a large soil-absorption system and a nutrient-pathogen evaluation is conducted, the county staff report said.

If the project secures its various approvals, it is tracking toward a grand opening in the spring of 2020, project records state.

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

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