BLACKFOOT – The Blackfoot Planning and Zoning Commission will meet on Tuesday just before Thanksgiving to cover a handful of items on their agenda as they continue to streamline the nomenclature of the city’s zones.

The previous meeting was canceled as was the city council meeting that was scheduled on election day. The canceling of their work session was decided when there was little to be covered on the agenda.

Starting with the changes to the nomenclature, the commission will review their R1-R (Residential Ranchette) zone which was established just over a year ago. The R1-R zone was created to preserve animal rights for those who own property large enough in the city limits to safely provide the space to raise them, which is limited to no less than one acre.

They are looking to change the name to the RR zone to better represent what the zone is when discussing it during a meeting or with a prospective zone change request applicant. Furthermore, it is listed that they may amend the RR zone. The commission will also review potential zoning code amendments, exploring proposed amendments made to the zoning code.

Other items that they will address include zone change requests for three different applicants. First is Bianca Pelayo requesting a zone change from R1 to R1-R, so they are allowed to have farm animals on their property in the city limits. Following this request and decision is Meglio Holding requesting a zone change to R3 (Dense residential) on land between McAdoo Street and Lansing Street. Finally, Kendall Murdock will be requesting a zone change from R1-R to R1 on property that he owns. Although it does not list where the land is located on the agenda, the supporting documents show that it is the land on Camas Street that he looks to change the zoning on. The request comes after three different rulings by the P&Z and an overturn of said final ruling by the city council granting Murdock the option of developing the area with the platted planned unit development (PUD) that he originally presented.

Murdock’s request comes as little surprise after discussion in the city council meeting between the council members and city attorney Garrett Sandow. Sandow suggested that they formally ask for the rezone application from Murdock, because he did not want there to be any legal issues. The council members took Sandow’s input under advisement, but provided the approval of the PUD during the meeting.

The final application is requesting variance on setbacks for two lots that are physically constrained. The request comes from Ortiz Construction LLC, who would like to build on the two lots but meeting setback requirements of 20 feet behind the structure is proving difficult. They requested a variance of a setback of 15 feet from the structure for a smaller backyard. Variance requests are held as a public hearing, where notices are sent out to those within 300 feet of the property and the impact zone is 1,000 feet. The backyard is constricted by the railroad that runs east and west in Blackfoot.

The P&Z will meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the council chambers. The meeting will be streamed on Zoom with the link and meeting ID listed on the agenda which is available on the City of Blackfoot’s website.