Code reform hearing today

SANDPOINT — A series of controversial amendments to Bonner County’s land use code are being taken up by county commissioners today.

The board is holding a public hearing on the code changes at 2:30 p.m. at the Bonner County Administration Building.

The changes include increasing administrative exceptions from 1 foot to 10 percent on setbacks. An increase from 2 percent to 5 percent on lot sizes and subdivision standards is also being proposed.

The code changes would also create administrative variances of up 30 percent.

This process, once noticing requirements are met, allows the planning director to administratively approve a variance or require the request to be channeled through the typical variance process.

Variances greater than 30 percent would be subject to the normal variance process.

A third proposed code change involves conditional certificates of compliance. It would move the date for which a parcel may legally exist to the adoption date of last major land use code rewrite (Nov. 18, 2008).

The certificate of compliance amendment has drawn significant criticism as a form of amnesty for thousands of divisions of land that were done illegally.

“It will potentially add density around the county with no provision for human waste, water, fire protection or roads,” Steve Lockwood said in a social media posting to his campaign supporters

Lockwood, A Democrat, is challenging incumbent Republican Commissioner Dan McDonald for his seat on the board.

The code changes are part of an ongoing effort by county commissioners to ease the regulatory burden on landowners, although critics of the code changes contend they are watering down standards that protect water quality and design standards.

http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com/local_news/20180613/code_reform_hearing_today

Letters to the Editor

Lockwood has the necessary background, experience

Steve Lockwood, candidate for the Bonner County Board of Commissioners, is a strong believer in transparency, and doesn’t think our current elected county officials are practicing it today,

“Today’s county commission is making decisions privately, before public meetings, and not making it easy for voters to follow their actions,” says Lockwood, who is running in the Democratic primary election for District 3.

A 19-year resident of Bonner County, Steve has the background and experience needed for this important job. After retiring as an Operations Manager for AT&T, he was elected to Sandpoint’s City Council, chaired Sandpoint’s Planning and Zoning Commission and is currently on its Urban Renewal Board. He also served on the Lake Pend Oreille School Board.

Lockwood cites the need to preserve the clean air, water and public lands that make our county special to live in and attractive for businesses and employees. He also stresses the need to promote moderately- priced housing and create strategies that attract jobs paying a living wage for a family.

Be sure to vote for Steve Lockwood in the primary May 15 and in the general election on Nov. 6.

JAMES W. RAMSEY

Sandpoint

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Lockwood will serve county well as commissioner

I have known Steve Lockwood for many years and in various capacities. In all of that time, Steve has proven himself to be a good and decent man. He has a history of public service to Sandpoint during which he has shown that he treats people, all people, with great respect regardless of differences of opinion. He will bring calm and good will in service as a county commissioner. I urge you get to know Steve Lockwood.

ILENE BELL

Sandpoint

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Unpleasant surprises may face many county landowners

Unpleasant surprises may face many Bonner County landowners. The county is considering undermining 27 years of countywide zoning by allowing illegally created parcels created before Nov. 18, 2008, to be lawful through “amnesty.”

This waives 27 years of zoning standards, like lot size minimums, and 13 years of subdivision standards, like the need to plat. Your neighborhood may change without notice as you welcome neighbors to lots you thought were too small to develop. This “amnesty” is unfair to those who followed the rules. For example: A 20-acre parcel zoned agricultural since 1981 with a 10-acre minimum was split into four 5-acre properties, violating the lot size minimum without going through the subdivision process, would now become legal.

Folks who bought into a neighborhood in rural Bonner County thinking they were moving into an agricultural area now find that this isn’t going to be the case because neighboring lots will be smaller.

The code proposal would affect property owners and jurisdictions county-wide. A fire district that has staffed for homes on 10-acre lots, could find itself serving many more property owners, with no advance notice. Roads may not be properly sized. Water and sewer districts may be overextended.

STEVE LOCKWOOD

Sandpoint

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Get involved, participate in planning proposals

In response to Steve Lockwood’s comments January 23, 2018…“Bonner County zoning codes are up for changes ‘with’ the usual opportunities for citizen input. Industrial plants are ‘not’ being permitted in many county zones.” Since 2008, there have been more than a dozen amendments making more than 60 text changes to the Bonner County Zoning Ordinance. The process requires a public hearing with the Planning Commission and with the Board of County Commissioners. The proposed changes are noticed in the newspaper and are sent to all taxing districts at least 15 days prior to the public hearing. Additionally, the Planning Commission holds workshop discussing the proposed changes and the public is always welcome to attend.

These proposed changes are available at the Planning Department page on the county website under current projects, File AM161-18. This project is not being rammed through. As part of the above stated public process, there was a request to allow for more time to review and provide comment on the proposed changes.

It appears this is another attempt to insight fear and mislead the public. The point is taken that if you live in the County you should participate in the public process. The famous quote that “The world belongs to those who show up” is real. Changes to ordinances and plans are often made because of one person’s comments. You do have a voice and you should participate. Take the time to read the proposals on your own, form your own opinion and show up – write a letter, or email, make a phone call or come and meet with the Planning Department or even better, come to a public meeting. Take the opportunity to participate. It really is you who makes the process transparent.

MILTON OLLERTON

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Demand open process on proposed planning, zoning changes

Do you want an industrial plant near your rural home? No? Then read this:

Bonner County zoning codes are currently up for changes without the usual opportunities for citizen input. Under currently proposed revisions, industrial plants would be permitted in many county zones, potentially including yours. Protection of private property will be weakened.

In the past, citizens were offered many opportunities to contribute to changes such as these. The county held evening workshops in many locations, published progress reports, and tried hard to keep you informed and include your ideas.

Zoning for industrial uses is only one of many changes underway. Today’s commission may be doing the legal minimum, but they are trying to ram this through without your knowledge and ideas.

If elected Bonner County commissioner in November, I will transparently conduct public business. Today’s commission is doing the opposite.

Call the commissioners at 208-265-1438. Ask for a copy of the proposed changes and demand an open process!

STEVE LOCKWOOD

Sandpoint

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GOP tax plan adds to wealth gap between rich, others

Make no mistake. The current Republican plan to change the tax code is to give huge tax reductions to their political donors, in spite of resulting debt increases.

After years of saying deficits are the greatest problem we have, Republicans in Congress have decided that the deficits which will result from the tax reductions will give them an excuse to cut programs such as Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare.

So, big tax reductions for the superrich and for corporations, increasing national deficits and debt, and an ever widening gap between the very wealthy and the rest of us.

STEVE LOCKWOOD

Sandpoint

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Lockwood Will Serve County Well as Commissioner

I have known Steve Lockwood for many years and in various capacities. In all of that time, Steve has proven himself to be a good and decent man. He has a history of public service to Sandpoint during which he has shown that he treats people, all people, with great respect regardless of differences of opinion. He will bring calm and good will in service as a county commissioner. I urge you get to know Steve Lockwood.

ILENE BELL

Sandpoint

Vote Lockwood for County Commissioner

Steve Lockwood is on the ballot for Bonner County commissioner in our upcoming May 15 primary election.

Steve has experience and knowledge. He served as a member of the Lake Pend Oreille School Board, where he reviewed and stabilized budgets, all while showing great concern for our students and educational system.

He is thoughtful, fair and will listen to all sides. Steve displays consistency, integrity, and his word can be trusted. Being a problem solver, he knows how to work as an effective team leader and member.

Also, Steve has a delightful sense of humor, which makes it easy for anyone to talk to him.

Steve Lockwood will make an outstanding county commissioner. So give him your vote this May and again in November.

PHILIP A. DEUTCHMAN

Sandpoint

Bonner County Zoning Changes

Unpleasant surprises may face many Bonner County landowners. The County is considering undermining 27 years of countywide zoning by allowing illegally created parcels created before November 18, 2008 to be lawful through “amnesty.”

This waives 27 years of zoning standards, like lot size minimums, and 13 years of subdivision standards, like the need to plat. Your neighborhood may change without notice as you welcome neighbors to lots you thought were too small to develop. This “amnesty” is unfair to those who followed the rules. For example: A 20 acre parcel zoned Agricultural since 1981 with a 10 acre minimum was split into four 5 acre properties, violating the lot size minimum without going through the subdivision process, would now become legal.

Folks that bought into a neighborhood in rural Bonner County thinking they were moving into an agricultural area now find that this isn’t going to be the case because neighboring lots will be smaller.

The code proposal would affect property owners and jurisdictions county-wide. A fire district that has staffed for homes on 10 acre lots, could find itself serving many more property owners, with no advance notice. Roads may not be properly sized. Water and sewer districts may be overextended.

The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing for this proposal BCRC 12-616 on Thursday, April 5, at 5:30 pm at the County Administrative Building, 1500 Highway 2.

Thank you for visiting my campaign website!

As issues arise or events are scheduled, the website will be updated. Please follow me here or on Facebook if you prefer. If you have questions or comments, use my contact information to communicate, and I will get back to you.

Why am I running as a Democrat? Because I represent all those who are fiscally conservative and value local government as an important means for providing the services we need.

The County is especially important as a service provider; building and maintaining roadways, getting an ambulance to you if needed, running 911, and providing law enforcement and courts. And more! As a commissioner, I will work to ensure that all county services run smoothly and cost effectively.

Unfortunately, today’s county commission is following philosophies that the majority of County residents don’t fully agree with, and that tilt is spearheaded by Dan McDonald, the current District 3 Commissioner. They are making decisions privately, before public meetings and not making it easy for voters to follow their actions. Dan is leading them in directions that can undermine the clean air, water and cooperatively managed public lands that make our county special to live in and attractive for business and employees. We need to move county government back into the Bonner County mainstream.

All county voters cast ballots for all commissioners in November. The districts are ones where a candidate must live, not where voters must live. I ask for your vote in November, and promise to be a Commissioner who makes decisions with Bonner County businesses and residents as the priority.

Thank you. Be sure to vote in the primary, May 15, and in the general election on November 6. You can find information on voting elsewhere on this website.

Sincerely,

Steve

“Lockwood seeks District 3 seat”

Published January 5, 2018 by the Bonner County Daily BeeArticle Link

SANDPOINT — Steve Lockwood, an 18-year resident of Bonner County, is running in the Democratic primary for Bonner County Commissioner, District 3.

“I’m running because I feel my management expertise and ability to listen to residents will help County government be more responsive, focused, and cost-effective,” Lockwood says, adding, “People deserve to have their local government deliver needed services at a reasonable price.” As an entrepreneur, Lockwood developed moderately priced, in-town housing in Sandpoint in 2006.

“I want to help Bonner County in addressing important issues. We need to respond vigorously to the possibility of a smelter on the county’s western border, promote affordable housing, and create economic development strategies that attract jobs paying a living wage for a family. It is important that county policies preserve the small town and rural character of our community in the face of inevitable growth,” says Lockwood. He also supports economic opportunities afforded by promoting multiple uses of the County’s abundant public lands.

Lockwood retired from his position as operations manager for AT&T long distance after 30 years with the company. In that period, as a volunteer he chaired the Air Quality Committee for the Portland, Ore. metropolitan area. That gives him important background for sorting out fact from fiction about pollution effects of projects such as the proposed silicon smelter near Old Town, Idaho. In Bonner County, Lockwood served on Sandpoint’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council. He also was an LPOSD#84 School Board member, including serving on the Teacher Salary Negotiating Team and the Facilities Committee. Currently, he serves on Sandpoint’s Urban Renewal Board and the boards of the Idaho Conservation League and Kinnikinnick Native Plant Society.

Lockwood’s skill in managing large budgets and complex teams, his long history of public service in local government and enthusiasm for our local community provides District 3 and Bonner County with a candidate who will work diligently to implement sensible and effective solutions for the County.

Lockwood is married to Molly O’Reilly, and has two sons and their families who live in the area. Steve bikes, sails and hikes in his spare time.