Planning and Zoning Meeting starts the year with a bang

Staff Writer

Blackfoot's City Planning and Zoning Commission met for their beginning of the year meeting with a bang! Chairperson Marilyn Jefferis opened the floor for nominations for a new chairperson which led to a unanimous vote of her retaining the title. Vice chair was voted for with Debbie Barlow also being unanimously voted into the seat. Only one commissioner was not present at the meeting, Quinn Stufflebeam. The rest of the commission, Chairperson Marilyn Jefferis, Vice Chairperson Debbie Barlow, Commissioners Ron Ramirez, Charley Kotter and Joanne Thomas were in attendance.
Amongst the meeting were two hot button items that have been seen and reviewed by the commission in their working meetings; The Tiny Home subdivision ordinance, and the R1-R zone for the Ranchette housing. Before they got into the bread and butter of the meeting, a Conditional use permit for child care was voted upon after testimony from Kurt Hibbert about the State's findings as well as those of the acting Fire Marshall, Chief Kevin Gray.
On the Tiny House Ordinance, there was no public input for or against it, but comments that had been given to the members of the commission spoke about members of the public addressing them about their concerns. One of the biggest concerns has been that there is worry that these tiny house subdivisions will end up looking like a trailer park. Hibbert explained that with the requirements of the home owner associations will help with this, as well as the requirement that these homes be attached to a permanent foundation. In the ordinance, Tiny Homes on Wheels will not qualify for these divisions, but are still qualified to be part of a RV subdivision. Other concerns of this action item included the type of enclosure for the garbage pickup and the building materials that would be needed for these tiny homes. In the end of the discussion, because these tiny home subdivisions have to be approved, the commission is allowed at this time to make sure that the proper or adequate materials are used in creating these tiny homes to prevent the creation of a new "trailer park". Before voting, Chairperson Jefferis said, "The first that applies for this will be under a microscope." This action item has been moved forward by recommendation to the City Council for approval.
Down the docket was the Residential Ranchette Zone (R1-R), where major adjustments have been made since the original draft of this action item. Nancy Christensen and Linda Collard spoke to the commission in favor of this, even though it has not made it to the public hearing stage as of yet. This zone will start in the Southwest part of Blackfoot on and near Riverton Road. Pedro Pelayo spoke in favor of this new zoning as well. This action item has been moved forward to be presented as a zone, which will be on their February 26th meeting, and then a follow-up will be needed to apply the zone, which will tentatively be during their March 26th meeting.
The vote to keep the meetings on the same day also passed, and the meeting schedule will continue as years' past. The second Tuesday of the month for the working meeting, and the fourth Tuesday of the month for the meeting in which public hearings will take place.
Furthermore, If there are questions about the R1-R zone, or more information is needed to decide on if a zone change is necessary, please do not hesitate to contact Kurt Hibbert at City Hall, where he will have the information readily available to the public, and all that are interested in this new zone.