Friday, September 29, 2006

2025 hearings roll on, near end

Public lands, rivers and wetlands focus of ordinances 4, 5


By STEVE BENSON
Express Staff Writer

Public hearings on two additional ordinances attached to the 2025 planning process will continue Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 9 a.m. at the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.

Ordinance 4 addresses the zoning of public, or government-owned, lands in the event they're transferred into private ownership. Ordinance 5 would create a floodplain and riparian setback district.

Blaine County commissioners kicked off their review of the two ordinances Thursday, but cut the hearing short since Commissioner Tom Bowman had to leave early.

The county's Planning and Zoning Commission began its review of the ordinances in June. Following is a brief summary of their recommendations to the county commissioners:

Ordinance 4 (Resource Conservation District)

- In the event the county's public lands—about 82 percent of Blaine County's lands are federally or state owned—are transferred to private hands, development would be limited to one unit per 160 acres.

 - The R-1 (residential, one unit of development per acre), R-.4, and R-.25 zoning districts would become inactive. R-1 zoning would be preserved in TDR receiving areas.

Ordinance 5 (Floodplain and Riparian Setbacks)

- Building setbacks along Class 1 streams, which include the Big Wood River, would be increased from 75 feet to 200 feet.

- Setbacks along Class 2 streams (East Fork of the Big Wood River, the Little Wood River, Trail Creek, Warm Springs, Upper Smiley Creek and upper Salmon River) would be increased from 50 feet to 100 feet.

-Setbacks along Class 3 streams (Croy Creek, Deer Creek, Rock Creek, Fish Creek, Beaver Creek, Fish Creek and the Broadford Slough) would be increased from 25 feet to 100 feet.

-Building along spring-fed creeks, such as Silver Creek, Grove Creek and Loving Creek would also be subject to 100-foot setbacks.

- No new buildings shall be located within 75-feet of wetlands.

-Owners of existing, platted lots would not be subject to the new setbacks. Home additions and expansions would be permitted as long as they do not add to the non-compliance. In other words, building away from the riparian/wetlands area would be allowed.

The county commissioners all indicated a desire to alter certain details of the ordinances, which are 15 pages apiece, when they reconvene Wednesday morning.

Commissioner Sarah Michael has drafted documents summarizing several proposed changes to the ordinances. She will discuss those potential changes with the other commissioners on Wednesday. The final ordinance—Ordinance 6—proposes the creation of a Wildlife Overlay District. The county commissioners will begin their review of that ordinance in mid-October.




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