Public Relations Board approves subdivision of three lots and grants land to county

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PRIEST RIVER – Council members voted to approve the three-lot Woodland Estates Addition subdivision on Tenth Street at their meeting Monday night.

While there have been concerns about the development’s drainage and drywall installation, Mayor Jim Martin said the developer has been working with the city to resolve these issues.

The council also discussed and proposed three amendments to Title X of the Priest River Code for adoption at the next meeting.

These included the elimination of the historic district, the authorization of the process of administrative subdivision of four lots or less, and the authorization of carports in the front yards.

The administrative subdivision process for four lots or less is important, said Bryan Quayle, Planning and Zoning Administrator, because many of the new developments are only for a few lots.

Currently, all new developments go through the board, which can significantly extend the timelines. In a subsequent interview, Quayle noted that the change would help the city respond more quickly to the growing need for housing and reduce demands on the council itself.

“It is our responsibility to bring these [developments] forward, ”he said.

Another item on the agenda, a declaration of transfer of ownership to the Happy Agers Senior Center, 336 E. Jackson Ave., Bonner County, was approved.

The transfer is necessary to create continuity for the city, the senior center and the county, Martin said. Currently, the building is owned by the center for the elderly, with the understanding that if the center cedes the building, its ownership would be transferred to the county, which previously owned it.

Meanwhile, the land on which the building stands belongs to the city. The city has previously attempted to grant the land to the senior center, but unless due to state law, the land is transferred to the county before being granted to the center.

The council further approved an extension of the water main at Mazenko Development, which was approved for small houses in 2019.

Several board members noted frustrations with the speed of development, as the project was due to start immediately after its approval two years ago. So far, no mini-houses have been built.

“We keep giving them time and they don’t do anything,” said City Councilor Candy Turner.

Martin said he wanted to make sure the board didn’t give developers years to replace RVs and manufactured homes to make them look the same.

Some of those delays can be attributed to challenges raised over the past year, Quayle said. At present, the developers are working on fulfilling the conditional use license requirements. The extension of the water pipe is one of them.

“I know of other plans [out of their control] was delayed, but don’t take that as an excuse, ”he said. “I think if they had to cross T’s and dot I’s [they could start building soon]. “

Also that night, council approved a contract with White Diamond Concrete, LLC for the improvement of pedestrian ramps on Third Street and Highway 2 for $ 69,970, and temporary construction easements with Ziply Fiber and Campbell 5 LLC. for the LHTAC Wisconsin Street Realignment Project.

The council further decided to approve a loan with the State Department of Environmental Quality of $ 1,650,000 at a rate of 2.75% for a 440,000 gallon tank and installation of ‘a new generator.

Of that $ 1,650,000, $ 1,075,000 is expected to be refinanced by USDA Rural Development, leaving DEQ a total obligation of $ 575,000 to be repaid in semi-annual installments over 20 years, according to DEQ agreement documents.

The board also proposed to waive the park reservation fee for the West Bonner Library District’s summer reading program.

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