COEUR d’ALENE — The city added a 46-acre stretch of riverfront to a zone change application that was approved this month and included its 48-acre former mill property.
The Atlas property, which was zoned industrial, is expected to be annexed into the city in October. Its new C-17 designation allows commercial construction as well as 17 units per acre.
The planning commission also designated 46 additional acres of shoreline as a navigable waterway zone, which gives the city jurisdiction of the shoreline and a portion of river bottom. The zone change aids law enforcement, emergency and firefighting efforts and will help regulate building of waterfront structures such as docks along the river.
City Planner Hilary Anderson said planners brought the shoreline zone change request after realizing its benefits.
“We didn’t include the river at that time because we didn’t really think about it,” Anderson said. “As we’ve been doing a lot more work … we realized it would be really beneficial to bring in a section of shoreline along the property, and to tie in the existing city limit lines.”
Adding the 75-foot wide swath of shoreline would also allow the city to maintain and stabilize the shoreline, Anderson said.
The waterway near the shore could also be designated a paddleboard and kayak river trail.
The C-17 zoning district is the broadest zoning district for residential as well as commercial use. It allows the city to limit the types of uses, including the density and heights of properties.
Navigable waterways zoning is the only zoning allowed over water. The Idaho Department of Lands would still regulate the river bed and shoreline uses.
Planning commission members who unanimously approved the zone change said future changes to the existing Atlas development plans will be scrutinized in the planning and development process. Commissioners agreed to limit the height of buildings at the site and wanted to ensure long-term public access to the river.
“I think C-17 is the right decision … Let’s move it on,” commission member Jon Ingalls said. He and fellow members agreed to recommend to the City Council height restrictions and public ownership of the waterfront.
“We’re going to see this (property plan) a lot more times and in a lot greater detail,” he said.