P&Z endorsing new RV code change

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SANDPOINT — The Bonner County Planning & Zoning Commission is endorsing the latest iteration of a land use code amendment intended to eliminate a restriction on temporary recreational vehicle usage and establish standards for use of RVs as permanent dwellings.

The planning commission made its views known in a memorandum to the board of county commissioners on Thursday.

In it, the planning commission explains the original purpose of the code change was to eliminate a 120-day limitation on temporary use of and create a regulation addressing the use of RVs as a permanent dwelling. The effort, however, led to confusion because the commission was attempting to define the elements of a permanent dwelling rather than the dwelling itself, according to the memo. An earlier draft of the ordinance, for instance, included reference to water and sewer hookups, neither of which are regulated by the county.

The latest version of the code change states that temporary, noncommercial uses of an RV are not regulated by Bonner County’s land use code and creates a classification for RVs to be used as permanent dwellings.

“The proposed language, calling the permanent use of a dwelling unit, defines clearly what the intent of the use of the RV is to be. The language also clearly defines the ordinance is not regulating the temporary use of an RV on property,” the planning commission said in the two-page memo.

The proposed classification — Dwelling Unit, Recreational Vehicle — are limited to one per parcel less than 1 acre or two per parcel for parcels greater than 1 acre. Each dwelling unit requires a building location permit and setback requirements must be met.

Each dwelling unit may be inside a garage or beneath a snow roof, according to the proposed code. They also may be used as vacation rentals as long as the aforementioned requirements are met.

The planning commission voted on a 3-1 vote on Thursday to endorse the latest proposed language. Commissioners Trevor Kempton, Brian Bailey and Matt Linscott voted in favor, while Commissioner Suzanne Glasoe voted in opposition.

The Planning Commission is submitting its endorsement as a public comment instead of as a formal recommendation.

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

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