BLACKFOOT — Tempers flared between county residents and county commissioners following a 'standing room only' work session Tuesday. The commissioners unanimously approved wording changes to the controversial planning and zoning ordinance.
Work on the countywide zone ordinance started in 2007 and affects the property rights of local residents. The ordinance presents guidelines for residential and agricultural subdivisions and provisions for how to appeal to those guidelines. It contains zoning guidelines for energy development such as windmills and other developments.
Commissioner Ladd Carter said, "This is not a perfect ordinance. It's a work in progress. We can't see into the future what will come our way."
When some of the attendees became vocal against the decision, commission chair Cleone Jolley sternly informed the group that "anyone who disagrees with the decision can appeal to district court."
Bingham County resident Jay Cornelison said adamantly, "The county residents are not happy. We are headed for a dictatorship and we're bringing it on ourselves."
Lona Murdock became visibly angry, stating, "The people have said 'we don't want this! ' You've changed the wording when everyone told you 'no.' "
Murdock and others agreed that property needs to be protected and there should be guidelines, but not major restrictions.
"The ordinance is restrictive and does not protect our rights..they (the county commissioners) are not listening to us," Murdock added.
Rumblings among the group alluded that money would be pooled by interested county residents to appeal the decision in court.
The entire ordinance is available at www.co.bingham.id.us/planning_zoning/planning_zoning.html