The Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a preliminary and final plat application for a four lot subdivision located near 304 N. 3663 E. during the Jan. 3 meeting. The approval is a “do recommend” for the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners. Their decision will officially approve or deny the subdivision.

Applicant Reed Hill originally brought the application to the Dec. 6 meeting, but a decision was tabled pending further information and details regarding the subdivision. Information required included adding contour lines on the plat, documentation stating if the area is considered a wetland, whether or not the proposed road into the subdivision would be approved by the Jefferson County Road and Bridge Department, information of the undisturbed drainage shown on the plat and irrigation details on the plat.

Frank Peterson with Peterson Land Surveying indicated that Road and Bridge Administrator Dave Walrath approved the paved road if it meets Jefferson County standards. He also provided the commissioners with an updated plat application that included all of the required items, except information on if the area is a wetland. He deferred such information to Cleve Booker with Booker-Gray LLC.

Booker said they were unable to delineate the area as a wetland or not, due to the ground being frozen. However they determined that the area is an irrigational induced wetland based on historical aerial photograph of the area. He also noted that it is not designated as a wetland by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

“The Corps doesn’t claim them (irrigational induced wetland) as jurisdictional,” Booker said.

If the application was to be approved, and the Corps dictated later on that the area was a wetland, Booker said to remedy the issue Hill would simply need to apply for a permit.

“It happens a lot here; they’re called an after-the-fact permits,” he said. “We would rectify any damages that have been done through restoration and enhancement.”

Rigby resident Luke Hicks was the only patron to speak during the hearing.

He spoke in opposition of the subdivision because he was concerned with the impact it would have on water in the area, plus he argued that Hill and company still have not addressed whether or not it is a wetland.

“I question the hastiness of this presentation,” he said.

Hicks also said the gravel road that currently leads to the proposed subdivision wasn’t always there, and that that Hill brought in gravel to build the road, some of which he claims was not from the area.

“There was no access there. That gravel was dumped, therefore creating an access,” he said. “Is this gravel or the disturbed soils clean? Because this water is going to flow through our property.”

Based on the information that was provided by Peterson and Booker, the commissioners believed the application was consistent with the county’s ordinances, the comprehensive plan, the capital improvement plan and the availability of public services were sufficient.

Commissioner Warren Albertson’s motion to approve the preliminary and final plat was unanimous.

The application will be presented to the county commissioners at a later undetermined date.

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