The Kootenai County Commissioners still have a LONG way to go, but at this morning’s deliberation of the draft comprehensive plan, some actual glimmers of progress were detected. Today, the Commissioners largely completed deliberations on “planned communities,” one of the more difficult and controversial parts of the draft plan.
The Commissioners have been struggling for several meetings with the concepts of “planned communities” and “rural villages” as envisioned by the draft plan. Today, the Commissioners combined the two designations, which were distinct in the draft, into one, more all-encompassing designation. They also clarified that such intensive developments should require sewer systems as opposed to scattered septic systems.
The Commissioners also retained language that would require such large developments to “pay their own way” when it comes to utilities and public services. However, the Commissioners were uncertain that they had the tools to enforce such requirements on any particular development. Impact fees alone, for example, would be insufficient in many instances.
Procedurally, it should be noted that the Commissioners consciously attempted to only “give direction” during today’s deliberations, and tasked planning staff to do any necessary cutting, pasting and editing. Whether this approach to their deliberations will continue, and whether this will speed things along, remains to be seen. (Like, hopefully, the Commissioners will not have a need to “re-deliberate” the staff’s wordsmithed version.) The next deliberations are scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday) evening.