Category : Land Use

Rural Residents Defend Rural Landscape and Property Rights

Last Thursday, May 21, hundreds of rural residents ffrom northern Kootenai County colored the auditorium  red at North Idaho College Schuler Performing Arts Center in opposition of a zone change that would effect the landscape of North Kootenai County. The Kootenai County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) hosted this second public hearing on this 34 acre zone change request near Athol. Earlier this year Developer Dennis Swartout more »

This Land is Our Land, This Land is Their Land: The Value of Maintaining Public Lands in Northern Idaho

As Congress has shown its intention to sell off public lands, there is a pressing need to recognize the value of public lands for We The People.  Whether you’re an avid hiker, seasoned sportsmen, or a once-a-summer weekend visitor, the common space of public lands provide recreation, fishing, and hunting opportunities to everyone without prejudice and at low to no-cost.  Protecting access to public lands more »

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 Commissioner Dan Green was out of town, so it seemed that the rookie Commissioners decided to 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 claims to water rights in the state. All water rights users in the St. Joe, St. Maries more »

Dirty Coal: Idaho Deserves a Say

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. If the three proposed coal export terminals are built, up to 100 million metric tons of coal per year would travel through our communities. Currently BNSF rail 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 Community Development Director, David Callahan was also introduced. Callahan seemed eager to get started and ready for this rewrite, as he more »

Land Use Code Draft Open for Public Comment

 A few weeks ago the Kootenai County Unified Land Use Code (ULUC) Technical Committee wrapped up their review of the initial draft and made their final recommendations to consultants Kendig Keast and the Kootenai County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). The technical committee members must be applauded for all of the time and detailed attention they have poured into the editing of this document. This more »

Coeur d’Alene Lake, Problems and Solutions

In the Upper Coeur d’Alene Basin resides one of the largest and most complex Superfund sites in the country, Bunker Hill. From the 1880s to the early 1980s, the Silver Valley was the nation’s largest producer of silver, lead, zinc, and other metals. The mining and processing generated large quantities of heavy-metal-related waste materials containing toxic substances such as cadmium, arsenic, lead, and zinc. Much more »

Establishing Sustainable Food Systems for Future Generations

Establishing Sustainable Food Systems for Future Generations

Consumers today are more conscientious than ever about where their food is sourced and how it is grown. Since the passing of The Organic Food Production Act in 1990, the organic food industry in the U.S. has grown at a rate of 20-30% per year, making it the fastest growing sector in the food market. Growing awareness of the quality and nutrient value of the more »

Support the Unified Land Use Code

From the KEA Board of Directors: If you value the life you enjoy in the county, we urge you to support the adoption of the county’s Unified Land Use Code.  The code will implement the newly adopted comprehensive plan and replace current codes that are decades old. Right now the new code is being assaulted by people claiming their private property rights will be taken more »