County P&Z

The Bingham County planning and zoning commission discusses an agenda item at their Wednesday night meeting. Seated from left to right are Miles Carroll and commissioners Glenn Andersen, William Aullman, Darren Leavitt, and Dave Tanner.

BLACKFOOT – The Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission met on Wednesday evening for two hours at the county courthouse where they acted on one recommendation to the county commissioners and four conditional use permits. Too many cars The most debated item on the agenda was a request for a conditional use permit (CUP) for Thomas Les Brinkley “to store and do minor repairs on his property located in a residential-agricultural zone in the Greenfields Subdivision” at the toe of the foothills east of Shelley. Allen Jensen, the county’s director of planning and zoning, explained to the commissioners that the CUP application was an enforcement action by the county due to complaints from neighbors. Brinkley has several vehicles stored on his property and does auto maintenance and repair there as well. County ordinances require a CUP for excess vehicle storage and vehicle repair activities in areas zoned as residential-agricultural. County ordinances allow for storage of no more than five vehicles inside a fenced enclosure and two outside of a fenced enclosure. Photographs included in the information packet on the property for the commissioners showed more than that number of vehicles parked on the property. Jensen read letters of complaint from Keith Nelson and Mark Brandon into the public record regarding Brinkley’s property. The letters both outlined that Brinkley had no fence to hide eyesore vehicles from the neighbors’ view and stored more vehicles than permitted by county ordinance. The letters also expressed concern that the stored vehicles were a breeding ground for rodents and rattlesnakes. Brinkley spoke to the commissioners at length that he did not use his property for any commercial ventures. He works as a counselor and does invite some of his clients to his property where he teaches them about vehicle maintenance and auto repair on a volunteer basis. He has allowed other people he knows to leave vehicles on his property while out of state or on military service. “I can’t control the snakes but I can control my property,” Brinkley stated, addressing the concerns that his lot encouraged rattlesnakes and rodents. He’s owned the property for three years. He said he was not aware of all of the county’s code requirements and expressed willingness to work with the county to bring his property into compliance with the county’s zoning ordinances. Neighbor Cynthia Cummins testified in opposition of the CUP applications. “My front porch looks at the cars on his property,” Cummins remarked. “There were 30 vehicles this last winter. It was totally packed, and it was not just cars. There were RVs too. It looked like a disaster.” “I understand what he wants to do and that he wants to help people,” Cummins added, “but this isn’t the place to do it.” The commissioners gave Brinkley the opportunity to reply to the letters and testimony. “I know my property looks like crap right now,” he said. “I’m doing my best to (get into compliance) but it will take at least a month. My roommate has his own vehicles there too and he’s out of state so I can’t move those for at least two months.” “CUP or not, what’s on your property is still your responsibility,” commission chairman Darren Leavitt responded. Commissioner Glenn Andersen said, “This is really hard for me because I believe in personal property rights but aside from my opinion, we have to follow the county ordinance.” Commissioner William Alluman agreed with Andersen and added: “You also have a duty to your neighbors and this use is not in keeping with the essential (residential) character of the area. You can’t have a vehicle repair shop.” “This is slipping over into a commercial use … it’s just not zoned for commercial use,” remarked Commissioner Dave Tanner. The quorum of the four commissioners present voted to deny the CUP application for Brinkley and referred the code compliance issues back to the county’s P&Z department for any further actions. “You do have have options,” Leavitt explained to Brinkley. “We just want to steer you in the right direction.” Eagle Trucking Kip Gardner of Eagle Transportation applied for a CUP for his property at 26 West 50 South near Mountain View Middle School in Blackfoot. He wanted to move his current truck parking area on his property from the front to the back of the large lot. In additional, he wants to build a shop for truck maintenance to be used on only the vehicles his business owns in the same back corner. The rest of the lot is currently planted with alfalfa. The area currently used for parking will be planted over with crops. Gardner explained to the commissioners that his business has property speed limit and noise mitigation rules. In addition, his drivers are not permitted to drive past the nearby middle school when it is in session. He wants to make the move to the back corner of his lot to make his operation less visible to his neighbors. Clayton Pratt, a neighbor of the Eagle Transportation property, testified in support of Gardner’s application. “Kip’s trucks are immaculate,” Pratt said. “You can’t hear his trucks — they’re very quiet. The farm equipment harvesting the alfalfa makes more noise than his trucks do.” There were no letters or testimony in opposition of the permit application. The commissioners voted to approve the CUP. New commissioner Miles Carroll has been appointed as a new planning and zoning commissioner for the county. He sat in on the meeting Wednesday as a courtesy. He will begin his term officially next month. Carroll lives in Aberdeen where he is active with volunteering with the Aberdeen food bank. “I believe that we have to pay rent for our place on Earth,” Carroll remarked after the meeting was over. “If I can pay that back through public service like this, then that’s what I will do.” Other business The commissioners voted to recommended a re-platting of a portion of the Freeway Park subdivision. The purpose of the re-plat is to allow the owner to resize the lots before sale at the request of a buyer. The area is currently zoned for heavy commercial. It is located along West 465 North at the Rose area industrial park. The commission approved a CUP for a short 1,000-foot private airstrip in an agricultural zone at 382 East 475 North. The strip is only for small ultra-light and sport category aircraft and the commissioners stipulated that the permit is contingent on Jonas Marcinko, the owner, on complying with all Idaho Transportation Department and Federal Aviation Administration codes. Marcinko has been using his property to land his two-seater sport airplane for the last several years. He applied for the CUP in order to come into compliance with the county’s land use ordinances. The commissioners also approved the transfer of six division rights from three original parcels which he owns at 550 E 1500 N to other nearby parcels which he also owns. All the parcels are zoned agricultural. An agenda item for the Wildflower Meadows subdivision near Groveland was canceled and not discussed.

BLACKFOOT – The Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission met on Wednesday evening for two hours at the county courthouse where they acted on one recommendation to the county commissioners and four conditional use permits.

Too many cars

The most debated item on the agenda was a request for a conditional use permit (CUP) for Thomas Les Brinkley “to store and do minor repairs on his property located in a residential-agricultural zone in the Greenfields Subdivision” at the toe of the foothills east of Shelley.

Allen Jensen, the county’s director of planning and zoning, explained to the commissioners that the CUP application was an enforcement action by the county due to complaints from neighbors. Brinkley has several vehicles stored on his property and does auto maintenance and repair there as well. County ordinances require a CUP for excess vehicle storage and vehicle repair activities in areas zoned as residential-agricultural.

County ordinances allow for storage of no more than five vehicles inside a fenced enclosure and two outside of a fenced enclosure. Photographs included in the information packet on the property for the commissioners showed more than that number of vehicles parked on the property.

Jensen read letters of complaint from Keith Nelson and Mark Brandon into the public record regarding Brinkley’s property. The letters both outlined that Brinkley had no fence to hide eyesore vehicles from the neighbors’ view and stored more vehicles than permitted by county ordinance. The letters also expressed concern that the stored vehicles were a breeding ground for rodents and rattlesnakes.

Brinkley spoke to the commissioners at length that he did not use his property for any commercial ventures. He works as a counselor and does invite some of his clients to his property where he teaches them about vehicle maintenance and auto repair on a volunteer basis. He has allowed other people he knows to leave vehicles on his property while out of state or on military service.

“I can’t control the snakes but I can control my property,” Brinkley stated, addressing the concerns that his lot encouraged rattlesnakes and rodents.

He’s owned the property for three years. He said he was not aware of all of the county’s code requirements and expressed willingness to work with the county to bring his property into compliance with the county’s zoning ordinances.

Neighbor Cynthia Cummins testified in opposition of the CUP applications. “My front porch looks at the cars on his property,” Cummins remarked. “There were 30 vehicles this last winter. It was totally packed, and it was not just cars. There were RVs too. It looked like a disaster.”

“I understand what he wants to do and that he wants to help people,” Cummins added, “but this isn’t the place to do it.”

The commissioners gave Brinkley the opportunity to reply to the letters and testimony. “I know my property looks like crap right now,” he said. “I’m doing my best to (get into compliance) but it will take at least a month. My roommate has his own vehicles there too and he’s out of state so I can’t move those for at least two months.”

“CUP or not, what’s on your property is still your responsibility,” commission chairman Darren Leavitt responded.

Commissioner Glenn Andersen said, “This is really hard for me because I believe in personal property rights but aside from my opinion, we have to follow the county ordinance.”

Commissioner William Alluman agreed with Andersen and added: “You also have a duty to your neighbors and this use is not in keeping with the essential (residential) character of the area. You can’t have a vehicle repair shop.”

“This is slipping over into a commercial use … it’s just not zoned for commercial use,” remarked Commissioner Dave Tanner.

The quorum of the four commissioners present voted to deny the CUP application for Brinkley and referred the code compliance issues back to the county’s P&Z department for any further actions.

“You do have have options,” Leavitt explained to Brinkley. “We just want to steer you in the right direction.”

Eagle Trucking

Kip Gardner of Eagle Transportation applied for a CUP for his property at 26 West 50 South near Mountain View Middle School in Blackfoot. He wanted to move his current truck parking area on his property from the front to the back of the large lot. In additional, he wants to build a shop for truck maintenance to be used on only the vehicles his business owns in the same back corner. The rest of the lot is currently planted with alfalfa.

The area currently used for parking will be planted over with crops.

Gardner explained to the commissioners that his business has property speed limit and noise mitigation rules. In addition, his drivers are not permitted to drive past the nearby middle school when it is in session. He wants to make the move to the back corner of his lot to make his operation less visible to his neighbors.

Clayton Pratt, a neighbor of the Eagle Transportation property, testified in support of Gardner’s application. “Kip’s trucks are immaculate,” Pratt said. “You can’t hear his trucks — they’re very quiet. The farm equipment harvesting the alfalfa makes more noise than his trucks do.”

There were no letters or testimony in opposition of the permit application. The commissioners voted to approve the CUP.

New commissioner

Miles Carroll has been appointed as a new planning and zoning commissioner for the county. He sat in on the meeting Wednesday as a courtesy. He will begin his term officially next month.

Carroll lives in Aberdeen where he is active with volunteering with the Aberdeen food bank.

“I believe that we have to pay rent for our place on Earth,” Carroll remarked after the meeting was over. “If I can pay that back through public service like this, then that’s what I will do.”

Other business

The commissioners voted to recommended a re-platting of a portion of the Freeway Park subdivision. The purpose of the re-plat is to allow the owner to resize the lots before sale at the request of a buyer. The area is currently zoned for heavy commercial. It is located along West 465 North at the Rose area industrial park.

The commission approved a CUP for a short 1,000-foot private airstrip in an agricultural zone at 382 East 475 North. The strip is only for small ultra-light and sport category aircraft and the commissioners stipulated that the permit is contingent on Jonas Marcinko, the owner, on complying with all Idaho Transportation Department and Federal Aviation Administration codes.

Marcinko has been using his property to land his two-seater sport airplane for the last several years. He applied for the CUP in order to come into compliance with the county’s land use ordinances.

The commissioners also approved the transfer of six division rights from three original parcels which he owns at 550 E 1500 N to other nearby parcels which he also owns. All the parcels are zoned agricultural.

An agenda item for the Wildflower Meadows subdivision near Groveland was canceled and not discussed.

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