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ANOTHER REPORTER VIEW



Why do we need multiple "eyes" in the room, because each of us hears and sees another perspective. This helps "we the people" understand the issues. On this report scan down to 6.0 issues that would impact the citizens, take action where needed. And thank you to all citizens willing to get out there and listen and report.

Cheryl Papke


Feb 22, 2024

Reporter F3

BCRCC Meeting Report

Idaho Falls City Council


The agenda was as follows:

1.0 Call to Order

2.0 Pledge of Allegiance

3.0 Consent of Agenda

4.0 Public Comment: None this evening.

5.0 Consent Mayor Agenda (all of the following items in this section were approved with no comment as a group):

5.1 Mayoral appointments to committees and commissions pursuant to law. No discussion

5.2 Municipal Services; purchase replacement for Sweeper for Public Works. Bid awarded to SWS Equipment LLC. No amount mentioned. No discussion.

5.3 Public Works; Bid award for Meppen Canal Trail pedestrian hybrid beacons. No discussion.

5.4 Idaho Falls Power; Path and Landscaping; no location specified. No discussion.

5.5 Idaho Falls Power; Electric Conductor Wire purchase. No discussion.

5.6 Idaho falls Power; Board Meeting Minutes for February 2024. No discussion.

5.7 Office of the City Clerk; Minutes from City Council meetings. No discussion.


6.0 Regular Agenda:

6.1 Idaho Falls Power; Resolution amending the Idaho Falls Power Service policy. Changes are available on line. The document is updated every year about this time to keep it current with customer needs. No debate or discussion other than appreciation by the Council to keep the document current and customer friendly. Approved.

6.2 Public Works; Easement Vacation for Lot 6, Block 1 of first amended plat of Westridge Commercial Plaza, Division 1. Owner of the property requested the easement. City staff reviewed and approved. No discussion or debate. Approved.

6.3 Community Development Services; Final Plat and Standards for Rising Sun Plaza Division No. 1. P and Z has recommended approval. Approved with no discussion and no change in zoning.

6.4 Legislative Public Hearing; Annexation and Initial Zoning of 118.320 acres in Southeast ¼ of Section 30, Township 3 North, Range 38 East (farm ground directly to the North, across 65th North, from Sage Lakes Golf Course). Developer initially applied for R1 zoning, but P and Z came back with R2. The developer responded that they could live with R2. It is now zoned and planned for R2 (single family and twin homes). At least they did not force high density zoning as they have done elsewhere out there. The parcel is in an Airport Overlay Zone. The Council could have decided for R1, as one of the Council’s stated objectives in these kinds of projects is to support the property owner (I have never heard this before at any meetings I have attended). But the Council approved R2. Only discussion centered around R1 vs R2. Council member Burtenshaw voted no, and wished to leave it as R1. Eagle Rock Engineering did the engineering.

6.5 Impact Fee Hearing, Appeal of Impact Fee Certification, Sayer Nissan New Dealership Sales and Service. This issue revolves around a City ordinance that allows for impact fees to be determined in a single structure, like an auto dealership, according to the various areas inside the building and what they are used for (office, industrial, retail, etc.). Mr. Sayer was objecting to the fee being determined as counting his shop area as retail area, or support for a retail establishment. If the fees had been determined with the shop area as industrial, the fees would have been much less.

This is a clear example of one of the problems with government in general. It was clear from the discussion that the ordinance is unsettled in its application, and when proposed, should have been thought through more carefully, and the impacts thought through more carefully. The ordinance in question clearly allows for this kind of partitioning to arrive at a fee assessment, but Council Frances was adamant that the shop was not industrial, it was retail support. Three of the other members agreed. In my mind, no one can seriously consider an automotive machine shop and repair shop as a retail space. Mr. Sayer lost his appeal on a 4 to 2 vote. There was concern that the council not reverse the decision of the Fee Administrator, Pam Alexander. Also, there was lengthy discussion on what precedent might be set by the Council reversing a Staff decision like this.

To my thinking, no one could possibly equate an automobile repair and machine shop as a retail space. The Council members admitted that the ordinance would need clarifying and refining in the near future (the ordinance is 3.5 years into its 5 year run, and will need some work).

Council members Radford and Freeman supported Mr. Sayer and his petition.

I believe this was very unfair. I realize the City must have some means to estimate the impact that new construction has on City services, but this particular case was very poorly managed. There was also discussion about how Boise performs this function, which I found inappropriate. They only consider traffic impact, the number of trips in and out of a facility.


6.6 Payment of Impact Fees Under Protest, Southbridge Division 1. The meeting ran over quite late and I was not able to stay and report on this outcome. I am assuming that this one, like the Sayer matter, was not approved. I am sure that the outcome is on the council’s web page, but I have not looked at it.


DISAGREEMENTS:

The only disagreement was noted in the section referencing Mr. Sayer’s appeal. How the functional areas inside a building are assigned value must be readdressed carefully.

Action items? (i.e. upcoming events, votes, things we need to be aware of?)

None.

Additional notes:

The impact fee procedures need to be scrubbed in the near future, hopefully with public comment

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