Letter To The Editor From Rob Dickerson

The concepts of “original parcel” and “subdivision of property” are fundamental to the Local Land Use Planning Act of 1975 (LLUPA) and  are  the foundation for Washington County’s land use processes and have been since 1979. The process  has functioned well over the years and ”original parcel” and “subdivision of property” is the basis for most land use proceedings. The proposed changes would remove these foundations. Allowing unlimited splits could result in incompatible uses and uncontrolled growth. Property splits (available building permits) greatly enhance the valued of  holdings for the owner. Under the current proposed code changes, landowners with legitimate available splits, will find those splits greatly devalued, to the point of no real value. If these changes are allowed to pass, we will see development in places we want left undeveloped. In Washington County we have tried to protect farmland because it is our primary economic engine. These proposed changes would lead to the non-agricultural development of that farmland and the non-compatible use of neighboring properties.

              Another proposed change would allow cities to make land use decisions in their impact areas. The Idaho Supreme Court has already addressed this in the Blaha v. Board of Ada County case. The court found that the “power to approve a subdivision (or any land use decision) in the impact area resides exclusively with the county.” And,  a city’s action in reviewing a subdivision (or any other land use decision) in an impact area, is “advisory only.”

Rob Dickerson

Weiser

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