The Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Administration is planning to begin the process of renegotiating area of impact agreements with cities in Jefferson County. The Jefferson County Board of Commissioners authorized Planning and Zoning Administrator Kevin Hathaway to draft a letter indicating the county’s intentions during the Jan. 28 meeting.
Hathaway originally proposed renegotiating the agreements with the cities of Ririe and Menan, but the commissioners suggested he send a letter to other cities in the county including Roberts, Mud Lake and Terreton. The county is currently in negotiations with the City of Rigby, and has already been approached by the City of Lewisville.
“I see some real changes that need to be made,” Commissioner Scott Hancock said.
Hathaway said the county has adopted Menan and Ririe city ordinances in the impact area, which was determined to be allowed according to state statute after further research. He suggested that they be modified to county ordinances because the area of impact is still the county’s jurisdiction.
“City ordinances and county ordinances vary a great deal and they’re not very complimentary,” he said.
Idaho Code states that the county can either adopt the city ordinances, its own ordinances or a mutually agreed upon plan of ordinances.
Planning and zoning legal counsel Belinda Tanner said after the letter is sent, the city has 30 days to select three elected officials that will select three residents from the city to form a panel.
Tanner indicated that there have been issues with Ririe and its planning and zoning commission not having two commissioners appointed by the county that reside in the area of impact. Through this process she said they are looking to remedy that issue.
“You have the city of Ririe making all of the determinations,” she said.
Hathaway also said there were numerous other issues and discrepancies found in the agreement and minutes from the meetings when the agreement was signed. He said when reading the minutes it seemed as if a decision was rushed by the commissioners.
According to minutes from the June 24, 2013 commissioners meeting, former commissioner Jerald Raymond said the agreement might need to be cleared up and asked if they should have it reviewed. The answer was they “simply don’t have time.”
“(Former Planning and Zoning Administrator) Naysha (Foster) says basically the city of Ririe wanted to get this adopted and then to come back and amend once their comprehensive plan was updated. Naysha says they aren’t even close and right now we just have an agreement that says this is our impact area,” minutes state.
Hathaway said the agreement was never amended.
“So it’s an issue,” he said.
Overall, Hathaway said through renegotiations, they want to develop a template so that provisions in impact agreements will be relatively the same. He said the agreements would have a section with supplemental guidelines that pertain to cities on an individual basis.
“To create a little less confusion and create ease in implementing impact agreements,” Tanner said.
The commissioners unanimously approved Hathaway to send letters to the aforementioned cities to begin renegotiations.