In the past twenty years, Kootenai County experienced explosive growth. This trend is likely to continue as more people populate the West and settle in attractive places like North Idaho. The county has beautiful rivers, lakes, and mountains, access to a nearby urban area and an interstate highway, and large expanses of federal and state land. Our population, property taxes, and land prices are relatively low but increasing.

A resistance to planning, in the form of unfettered property rights, creates problems. It produces traffic congestion, air pollution, and a frenzied pace of life. It allows the creation of isolated subdivisions that lack a sense of community and are expensive to supply with public services. It promotes development that strips hillsides of trees and invades wetlands, further degrading already imperiled lakes. It threatens to pollute and overuse the Rathdrum Prairie aquifer. It creates a checkerboard land use pattern that breaks up rural landscapes, communities, and wildlife habitats.

Only through a collaborative effort will improved land use planning result. The private property rights of all parties will be upheld, communities will unify, and landscapes that give people’s lives meaning, support wildlife, and make Kootenai County an attractive place to live will be preserved.

Recent Topics in Land Use:

New Commissioners Don’t Want Balance in a New Land Use Code

Start from scratch…write a new Comprehensive Plan and a new Land Use Code in the next year and a half.” That was the directive given to staff at a bizarre “Special Meeting” held by newly elected Kootenai County Commissioners Marc Eberlein and David Stewart.

The meeting was held while … (read more…)

Community Roots 2.0

Community Roots Gathering  Garden

As they … (read more…)

North Idaho Water Rights Adjudication

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the North Idaho water rights adjudication process, even though the process for the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane River Basin technically began in the spring of 2009.  The Adjudication process is simply the State of Idaho’s review and compilation of all the … (read more…)

Dirty Coal: Idaho Deserves a Say

Coal companies, seeing little future growth domestically, have a new plan: strip mine coal in Montana and Wyoming and then transport it on long coal trains through North Idaho to massive coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon.(read more…)

New Land Use Code Draft on the Fast Track

Last night the Kootenai County Planning Commission met to map out the new path forward for redrafting the Unified Land Use Code. However, the words ULUC seem to have been banished as if toxic, and replaced with the term “county-wide development code.”

The new (read more…)

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