Community members comment on final draft of P&Z ordinance
Bingham County Commissioners have scheduled a work session on comments given during the public hearing on the final Planning & Zoning (P&Z) ordinance. The work session will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4.
About 50 people attended the public hearing on Tuesday.
Two letters were read into testimony. Twenty-four people presented their concerns verbally to the commissioners.
Most of the people who spoke expressed concern about property rights.
"We want to use our property as we see fit," said Michael Harvey from Shelley.
Heather Goodworth from Blackfoot said this ordinance is all about "framework."
It begins by establishing a harmless broad framework and then regulations are implemented, Goodworth said.
"My career was working for government," said Ronald Carlson from Firth. "When I started, government was like a referee—one who leveled the playing field.
"There was not a regulatory environment," Carlson said. "The regulatory environment has gained by leaps and bounds."
Robert Butler from Shelley brought up Section 8.4 that requires additional studies.
"The demand for additional studies, endlessly at the expense of the developer, is especially egregious."
Asked to name a specific issue, Butler cited the nitrate issue in the Four Season lot subdivision.
Explaining nitrate overlays to the commissioners, Planning & Zoning Director Allen Jensen said there is no criteria for an overlay for high nitrates.
"We could get into legal trouble because we might be trying to use criteria for which the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) hasn't provided or established criteria," said Jensen.
Cherie Clawson from Blackfoot said she likes to find roots and solve problems. She suggested the problem was the property tax structure.
"Taxes are more than double in the city," he said. "Taxes in the country are half or sometimes a third less than in Blackfoot.
"If we reform property tax, it could be more equitable," said Clawson. "There would then be growth in cities and leave agriculture for agriculture."
Animal units were also discussed.
Commissioner Ladd Carter suggested the commissioners go through the ordinance page by page to review specific comments presented at the hearing.