Recently, I have been purging my files from the last 15 years of work in Kootenai County issues regarding land use, and it never ceases to amaze me, the more things change… the more things stay the same. Those placing a high value on the importance of rural communities within this county (study after study has shown people want rural areas for North Idaho protected) know how those areas provide much of the desirability of North Idaho. Many of the same compelling arguments in opposing non-conforming proposals (often in the form of Conditional Use Permits) that were made 10 or 11 years ago are seen today. The only difference recently, some of the decision makers from the recent past tended to lean toward the property rights of land owners without taking into consideration what is truly in the best interest of the county as a whole. Perhaps this filters down from a similar national attitude that has so profoundly divided our nation… “What’s best for me is right and don’t ask me to consider what is in the best interest for the country/state/county/city as a whole; doesn’t matter to me.”
Let’s hope the new BOCC actually does what is in the best interest of the entirety of Kootenai County and not what one special interest group, that might have helped get them elected, desires through their extreme ideology. This is such a special place to live, and our waters, land and air deserve protection.