County replies to land use code critics - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political

County replies to land use code critics

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Posted: Saturday, July 14, 2012 12:15 am | Updated: 9:54 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

Some of a Republican group's concerns about Kootenai County's land use code are already going to be addressed, and some are off base, according to county officials and the consultant helping write the code.

"I'm very cognizant of people's property rights, and we welcome participation, especially to address specific concerns in the code," said Commissioner Dan Green about the drafting of the Unified Land Use Code.

Green said on Wednesday morning that he had yet to see the resolution passed by the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee at a meeting on Tuesday. The document contends that the ULUC as written would violate property rights, and it calls for the commissioners to hold regional hearings and notice property owners individually.

Upon learning the committee's requests, Green said hearings are already slated to be held on the draft ULUC.

Hearings will be scheduled before the Planning and Zoning Commission, he said, and then before the county commissioners.

"Those won't be until after the first of the year," Green said.

As for holding regional hearings, he said "it's something to look into, if it facilitates people getting to comment."

Green acknowledged that some have requested the county send out direct mailings about the code and related meetings.

But as there are roughly 37,000 parcels outside the cities that would be affected by the ULUC, he estimated the cost of mailings could reach the tens of thousands.

"I don't know if people would support that kind of expenditure," he said, adding that meetings are already noticed in the newspaper. "And if we start noticing this kind of meeting by mail, what other kind of meetings (will follow suit)? It could set a precedent."

Scott Clark, Community Development director, said the county has arranged meetings about the ULUC with several civic organizations, on top of 11 "living room" meetings with groups of citizens like homeowners associations.

"The living room meetings have been by request," Clark said. "If a group of individuals is interested, we would like to accommodate that."

Anyone can request to be added to county e-mail blasts about ULUC meetings, too, he said.

To request a meeting about the ULUC, or to be added to the email list, call Community Development at: 446-1073.

Folks can also email Clark at

Todd Messenger with Kendig Keast Collaborative, the consultant helping write the new code, said concerns raised at Tuesday's KCRCC meeting weren't necessarily valid.

Messenger objected to a concern that KKC might not follow private property laws set by the state in 1995.

There has been no indication the Idaho Local Land Use Planning Act won't be followed, he said.

"We've read the Idaho Code, we've worked with Pat Braden, the county attorney responsible for land use issues," Messenger said. "When (Braden) throws down a red flag, we'll listen to him."

He also rejected worries that property owners might be forbidden from subdividing their property.

"Subdivision is something we think is good," Messenger said.

The county and consultant are working to update an agreement with local cities on areas of city impact, he added, to allow subdivision where it is now forbidden.

Messenger noted that when folks have attended meetings and made specific suggestions, their advice is often taken.

Broader land uses have been written in for farms, he said, based on a suggestion from Leah Southwell.

"When people bring specific things to our attention, we work with them," Messenger said. "When they bring non-specific objections, there's really not a lot we can do."

To concerns about an out-of-area consultant helping rewrite county laws, Messenger said KKC works carefully to understand clients' communities.

"There are always advantages and disadvantages to being from the outside," he acknowledged. "The key advantage that's quite useful to Kootenai County is we don't come with any baggage. We have no politics. We're just there to listen and learn."

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  • Ziggy posted at 8:40 am on Mon, Jul 16, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1107

    No, I had a large parcel on the Rathdrum Prairie. The County said they couldn't do anything about the junkyard next door as they had bigger junkyards to chase and weren't getting those removed. It's a lengthy battle, I guess with letters going back and forth. I drove out there after all these years and the guy is still wrecking the property values of the guy who bought my piece of property. Oh well. That is not the fault of either party or the county, really. Not enough $ to enforce I guess. At least they were honest with me (the county) when they said they couldn't do anything.
    I agree about states going into debt. Washington has a huge problem. Still, you must admit Idaho has one of the highest income taxes. Why people move here is a mystery to me, when they could take the Cali retirement next door and not pay that hefty icome tax and not pay any sales tax on food.
    I have met some great Californians who really love it here and I have met some who are a real pain, comparing Kootenai County to LA County and finding Kootenai County wanting in every way, including "no shopping centers at Priest Lake.'
    The truth is, illegal immigration has ruined beautiful California, a paradise back in the day. It's sad. I love every inch of that state; it is one of the three most beautiful states in the union. We simply must stop illegal immigration. As an Independent (not really a Demo either) here's a radical idea: we should have closed the door on immigration after WWII. Between illegal immigration and NAFTA, this country is being ruined.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 8:27 pm on Sun, Jul 15, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Ziggy, here's the problem with all of you "old time Democrats from Idaho".
    You don't a CLUE what your party has become, you don't & never saw the damage they did outside of this state. I am from one of the states that got titanically sunk BY democrats, and what you want is what THEY did to the other states.

    As to the guy that "lowered your property value", that MUST mean that you own a 2 acre parcel in the Silver Valley somewhere, becuase IF you owned much of anything larger, it wouldn't matter what the neighbor did.

    As to the "Neanderthals" that are the conservatives voted into ofice here; for YOUR information, Idaho HAS a balanced budget, balanced by CUTTING SPENDING, which is something YOUR party can't do, becuase it will cost them votes.

    Know what a recipient of state aid is?

  • inclined posted at 5:29 pm on Sun, Jul 15, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 682

    I am a steadfast and outspoken opponent of conspiracy theories. And by "conspiracy theories" I do mean, explanations for events or conditions that stress unsupported and unsupportable assertions, of collusion and/or specious design by groups of persons or organizations to achieve a particular result.

    Now, it is a most predictable phenomenon, while the Left, at the top, does a "fast and furious" charade, to set up the country for the anti 2ND amendment assault, an Amnesty program by royal fiat, to make good Democrats out of the 20 some million illegal votes on Obama's massive voter fraud campaign, and not the least, but the greatest single tax increase in the history of the world, we have "Obamacare" --this, this is conspiracy. This is the most extraordinarily egregious, heinously bad; tsunami glaring; flagrant: and stinking to the high heaven, lying piece of work any bunch of pukers, ever perpetrated on America. And, actually thinking they are fit to say, Z. and S. world, talk about conspiracy theories coming from Conservatives. May their government fail, their boats sink, and the plague of fail affect their scurvy minds and plans for the duration. And the same for any Independents, moderates, and/or Republicans that fit in their class.

    (See the FAQ for more on what I consider “conspiracy theories”). The advancement of conspiracy theories, in my view, results in the impairment of a person’s ability to think critically, to employ logic, and to evaluate information correctly.

    Conspiracy theories are corrosive to reason and intellect and they are extremely damaging to the type of reasoned and rationally-based discourse that is essential to the ability of the people to govern themselves in a democratic society.

  • will-- posted at 10:33 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2012.

    will-- Posts: 885

    Mr. Regan,

    I have been involved in the process from the beginning and am familiar with the information posted at What has changed the tenor of discussion has been the notion by conspiacy theorists that the process has been hijacked by advocates of Agenda 21.

    For those who buy into that, rearrange the letters in the words " Kendig Keast Collaborative" to reveal something sinister.

  • Brent Regan posted at 7:48 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 607

    Yes I have read the proposed code. You should to. It is available at

    You will NOT find any remedies for the problems cited. The county will NOT protect you from your neighbor (that is what the Sherriff and courts are for). The new code is all about transferring power and control to the county. It gives more discretionary authority (they call this “flexibility”) to the Director. It fails to follow black letter Idaho Code and it WILL result in MORE lawsuits, HIGHER costs and LESS freedom for landowners.

    Of course, left wing loons love big government.

  • SPUDIO posted at 7:04 am on Sun, Jul 15, 2012.

    SPUDIO Posts: 101

    Well Zig, ya can't talk to racist's or wingnut's. I'm a native also and wish for the old, sane Idaho but we are stuck with these conspiracy theorist's. Watch out for article 44 it takes away your squeeky toy.Keep up the fight Zig "GO OBAMA"!

  • inclined posted at 11:49 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 682

    And W. you can go to the Kendig Keast Collaborative site, and see all the cities where they have done their adjurations.

  • inclined posted at 11:26 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 682

    Well, Z. if you are right. The Conservatives fled CA. They fled because the Welfare State is going to tip over into the sea(Hank Johnson, Dem., Ga on what could happen in Guam.) But now is your chance Z., to flee ID for, possibly the Left's mother country, to get in on more regulations than you can shake a taco at. However, you are not the right strain to be blessed by all the policies that could give you heart palpitations. And there is no conspiracy going on there. The Mexicans rule. They want the state. They have the people to pull it off. You will know exactly where you stand, and I will warn you senor, it ain't good if they know you are from ID and think you are a white supremest. Brush up on your Spanish. Start eating hot food now. If and when you open your mouth there, just say viva Mexico, only the x sound can give you away. It's like May, jee, co. Smile and don't brush your teeth.

  • Ziggy posted at 8:51 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1107

    By the way, Joe, read your history. BEFORE the big California emigration, Kootenai, Shoshone and even Bonner Counties were solidly DEMOCRATIC. We had Democratic governors, senators, etc., some of them quite famous. It is only now that we are saddled with Neanderthals voted in by Californians.

  • Ziggy posted at 8:49 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1107

    Sorry, Joe, I was born here, raised here, lived here all my life. All that right wing stuff is really funny. I had a neighbor who decided to move in about 14 old cars and trucks and 7 dogs with a falling down wood fence. This lowered my property value considerably.
    Sorry, you conspiracy theorists, but we need to level the field for everyone. And saving the environment for future generations is not a crime; it's a necessity if the race is to continue, but then you guys are all about today--cut every tree, mine every mmountain, pollute every river, lake, pond, shoot everything that moves, ruin every trail all in the name of "property rights."

  • will-- posted at 7:14 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    will-- Posts: 885

    Mr. Regan,

    Have you received an advance copy of the Unified Land Use Code? Is there something specific that you take issuse with in that code. Sounds like you have more of a problem with the process than the actual substance of what the ULUC may contain.

    I'll reserve my criticism until I have the oppertunity to examine the facts.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 7:04 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    So; they're going to speak to "Homeowners Associations" which are primarily properties WITH Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions. That's right. CALIFORNIANS like whynot & ziggy that want MORE government control, REGARDLESS of what rights get stripped from the citizenry.
    The PREMISE that we in North Idaho "NEED" more rules is in itself bad for the area; not to mention EVERY property OWNER in the area.
    Socialists out of the woodwork, CONSERVATIVES don't NEED more "rules" as we have common SENSE.
    Libs back to Cali, please.

  • inclined posted at 7:01 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 682

    Z. There is the banal. But you must, as well, know there is a much bigger game in town. Yes, there is to deal with the fuss and bother of agreeing with even the most sensible rules, but there is a much bigger scene.

    "Think you know what your nation stands for? Still believe that Sustainable Development is a local solution written by locals [or contracted high profile ULUC Collaborative]for a local purpose? Prove it. Go ahead. Stop reading this. Pick up a phone right now and call your City Clerk. Ask to review and copy anything having to do with U.N. Local Agenda 21 or Sustainable Development."

    What is Sustainable Development?

    "According to its authors, the objective of sustainable development is to integrate economic, social and environmental policies in order to achieve reduced consumption, social equity, and the preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Sustainablists insist that every societal decision be based on environmental impact, focusing on three components; global land use, global education, and global population control and reduction..."

    There is so much to see. And every day this goes on, more of us common people are being alerted.

    Last night I watched a most incredible documentary, on the decision of Churchill to fire on the French, to capture the French navy before the Germans had it, to wreck h.ell on England, and certainly the possibility of America. Sutherland opened fire with the big guns and in minutes sunk a port bound French navy's prize ships, too terrible a vessel to get into the hands of Hitler. But, the French could not believe it. They opened fire on an Allied country. Why, it was now or never, now or a devil's hand to be dealt, now or more than the 1500 lives lost in those minutes. The French were about policy, about an hour when men could talk, and talk, bla, bla, bla. We are in an hour when the Left would love to talk us down the toilet. We can act before it takes a gun to our head, before they are sending in state militia. O, you don't know the joke about the Germans backing into France and Austria and telling the people, we are leaving. These people aren't leaving!

  • angryNIdaho posted at 3:25 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    angryNIdaho Posts: 79

    We will protect SNOW BIRDS from the TYRANNY OF WINTER!

  • Keven Johnson posted at 2:30 pm on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    Keven Johnson Posts: 1263

    Why not, it isn't the majority who's rights are in jeopardy. The reason the ULUC must be rejected is to protect the rights of INDIVIDUAL property owners against the Tyranny of the Majority.

    Pure democracy - - "majority rule" - - is nothing more than mob rule. That is why we are a republic, not a democracy.

  • Ziggy posted at 11:58 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    Ziggy Posts: 1107

    The lack of a code has caused a huge number of problems and inconsistencies. Yes, as Why Not said, no everyone will be happy. I lost my ability to subdivide my land years ago when the county passed the 5 acre rule over the aquifer, but it was the right thing to do, we thought, at the time. The result was too much urban sprawl, but no one anticipated the kind of growth we got.
    No rules results in lakes being full of weeds. Just ask anyone around Mokins Bay and other bays around Hayden. Allowing septics near lakes, fertilized lawns right down to the water, etc.has caused these bays to become so nutrient rich that the weeds completely fill the bay. You can't swim or boat or even walk through those weeds.
    Yes, we need the uniform code and yes, some of us won't like it but it's the right thing to do.
    The people who scream for property rights are usually either developers or people who want to put their house or their septic right on a waterbody.
    The developers have had it their way for the last 50 years, now it's time to do what is right for the people who already live here.

  • angryNIdaho posted at 10:45 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    angryNIdaho Posts: 79


  • Why Not posted at 9:35 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    Why Not Posts: 4035

    The ULUC will give a much needed boost to conflict resolution for outline property owners, myself included. Not everyone is going to be satisfied with new rules, they never are, but the intent is clear. To streamline process, reduce the potential for costly litigation and to protect the rights of the majority.

  • Brent Regan posted at 8:26 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 607

    A lot of property owners are “snow birds” who migrate south in the winter. The hearings are planned for the winter and Commissioner Green thinks an ad in the newspaper is sufficient notice. How will these landowners learn about the hearings?

    Also, after the new code is enacted by the Commissioners, you have ONLY 28 days to challenge any adverse impact to your land. After that, any legal challenge you raise will be dismissed because you did not take advantage of the generous 28 day “administrative remedy” period provided.

    Commissioner Green approved $400,000 expenditure to hire an out of state “consultant” (who had never written the land use code for a county before) but now is baulking at spending a few thousand dollars to give property owners proper notice that their property rights are about to change. “It could set a precedent.” Oh the horror, the county may have to give the same level of notice that the landowners have to give to get permission to develop their own property. Can’t let that happen.

  • mister d posted at 8:13 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Sounds like the commissioners are providing many opportunities for individuals to review the proposals. Individual mailings would be a huge waste of money, at some point people need to take some responsibility to be informed without the government spoon feeding them the information directly to their homes.

  • Brent Regan posted at 8:08 am on Sat, Jul 14, 2012.

    Brent Regan Posts: 607

    Todd Messenger’s STATED method is to push the regulation as far as he can until he gets “pushback” from the community. His goal is to put as much regulation in place as he can, because that is what he was hired to do. His client is NOT the landowner, it is the County, and to please the client he will hand them as much control over your property as possible. Messenger’s own words were “There will be winners and there will be losers.”

    "Subdivision is something we think is good," Messenger said. IF you subdivide the way we say you should with “cluster housing” “vegetation densities”, open space ratios and a myriad of other constraints that conform to his prescribed models.

    One term he likes to use is “flexibility” in the code. “Flexible” means that you need to be financially flexible enough to jump through all the new hoops he is drafting for the County. Messenger’s latest proposal is to give the power to the Director to decide if you need to have a “conference” with the EPA, Fish and Game, the Forrest Service and others to see if developing your property will have an impact on birds, fish, deer, wolfs and other critters.

    The groups who have been participating in the code development are planners, the KEA, developers and attorneys. All have an interest in more regulation of your property. Messenger wants to be sure the County has a “Big Hammer” to force landowners to comply with his “procedures”. All of this is public record. See for yourself. Have a roll of duct tape handy because your head will explode.

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