Growth in the area of impact expected soon

Growth in the area of impact has been a hot topic for years. As the city and county close in on an agreement, development is expected to increase.

BLACKFOOT – The Bingham County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a work session meeting in August to try and finish the fine print on the Area of Impact Agreement with the City of Blackfoot.

The proposed agreement has gone through major overhauls from where it started to where it currently sits. The City of Blackfoot voted earlier this year to recommend the proposed changes to the AIA but would be left waiting for Bingham County to affirm any agreement before placing it on the city council’s agenda.

Tiffany Olsen, county Planning and Development director, following a marathon meeting on Wednesday evening, addressed the commissioners about the need to circle back to the agreement so they can be in compliance with the state code. The state of Idaho requires there be an agreement between counties and cities for areas of impact so the plan of expansion of cities can be done as seamlessly as possible.

The agreement between the two entities allows the area outside of the city limits to have similar requirements as the city for development. In the county, the requirements when creating a development does not require curb, gutter, and sidewalk whereas in the city limits, these are staples.

Added into the mix include the connection to public services such as sewer and water. These additional requirements allow seamless annexation in the future for the cities in that county, allowing for an increased tax base for more growth later.

The AIA has seen some opposition from people in the community in the past which put the decision on hold. Now, with the next work meeting planned, the county P&Z will work toward a decision on the agreement and if one cannot be reached, the state could step in.

The previous agreement went far past the expected timeframe lasting more than 10 years and being dubbed “practically worthless” by Blackfoot City Attorney Garrett Sandow. It was this comment that helped propel the city affirming the submitted version of the agreement at the time.

Tentatively, the work session is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Aug. 4, but may change if the commissioners are not available. Any updates to this date and time will be announced online as well as in the Bingham News Chronicle.

Recommended for you