P & Z Meeting

The City Council chambers were at capacity Tuesday night at the Blackfoot Planning and Zoning meeting, leading to the meeting to be deferred to a later date.

BLACKFOOT – What would have been the biggest planning and zoning meeting of the year never got off the ground. With quite a few different areas to be covered on the agenda, the hot button issue that brought the community out in force, surrounded Blackfoot Charter Community Learning Center and Bingham Academy.

BCCLC and BA have been working on plans to start development for the awaited construction of their new school facility. The plot of land purchased off Harbor View, which was supposed to be under construction according to preliminary plans, has not even broke ground. At the last P & Z meeting, the new administrator for BCCLC, Debbie Steele, announced that they are exploring options for what they consider to be a more suitable location for the schools. Concerns were voiced that the location off Harbor View may fall into Blackfoot's airport object free zone, and in-so-doing would not be built legally regarding FAA regulations. Steele, joined by Dan Cravens, new member to the BCCLC board who also serves on BA's board, explained that they were in negotiations with a potential land owner, and could not discuss the information any further at the time.

Leading into Tuesday night's meeting, the P & Z Commission asked the administration of both schools to come prepared to present their plans going forward in their entirety, so that a better educated decision could be made on the subject.

At the meeting, the council chambers were filled to the hilt with patrons overflowing into the hallway, causing concern about if they could, in good faith, hold the meeting. City attorney Garrett Sandow addressed the public explaining that because there is no way for those in the hallway to justly hear the meeting, nor for them to present their concerns, there will have to be a change of venue following a motion of deferment from the commission. Sandow then asked those in attendance if any were leaving upon this motion. Members of the community visually showed that they were planning to stick it out. Upon the meeting being called to order and the Pledge of Allegiance concluding, Ron Ramirez made the motion to defer the entire agenda to June 25, except for number two on the agenda, which will be voted on during their work meeting on June 11. Item two is a request for a conditional use permit for Downtown Dance, which will be in the same building as Ace Hardware upon reception of the permit.

The June 25 meeting will be held in a bigger venue, with word passed that they will attempt to receive permission to use the Nuart or the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center. The meeting will be scheduled for its regular time of 7 p.m. unless otherwise posted.

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