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Friday, October 31, 2014

Rezone highlights problems

Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2009, at 11:13 AM

To be charitable, this was not the county commissioners' finest hour Monday, as they fumbled through a debate on the AEHI nuclear plant rezone request.

Eventually, the only decision they made was to send the whole matter back to the county Planning and Zoning Commission for a review process that could potentially delay any decision on the actual issue, whether or not a nuclear power plant should be built in Elmore County, for at least six months to a year.

The commissioners have yet to get to that point in the debate, and their stand on the nuclear plant rezone request is still unknown.

They clearly want every "i" dotted and "t" crossed before they make a decision, so that when the almost inevitable legal challenge to whatever decision they make is filed, they'll stand a good chance of winning the case. But in doing so, after two weeks of discussion, they appeared to most observers Monday to merely be confused and indecisive.

Those two weeks of discussion have pointed out a number of problems in the process, beginning with the limited scope of the original P&Z hearings on the rezone, which has prevented the commissioners from looking at the complete package of the proposal.

But more importantly, it has raised some serious issues regarding the county's comprehensive plan, in particular the apparently severe limits on where industrial growth may be located.

Whether or not P&Z decides to make any of the changes in the comprehensive plan suggested by the commissioners Monday, it is clear that at some time, hopefully in the near future, the issue of heavy industrial siting must come up for review, modification and clarification.

At issue are apparent contradictions in the comprehensive plan, which serves as the "strategy" for growth and development in the county, while the zoning ordinances serve as the "tactics" for how that strategy is implemented.

In one section, the plan calls for encouraging industry and manufacturing in order to improve jobs and the tax base. But in another section, it appears to call for such development only near Simco Road, a section of the county where the ability to obtain water, often a major need of industry, is severely constrained.

Furthermore, if industrial growth is to be held to only that area, then only Mountain Home and Boise can really benefit. The communities in the eastern half of the county, Glenns Ferry and Hammett, might as well just wrap themselves in amber and become fossilized relics, since they will never be able to take advantage of that type of economic development ever being located near their communities.

In a discussion we had with a highly respected former member of the county P&Z, who was serving at the time the comp plan was developed, that individual indicated P&Z did intend at that time that such development occur only in the Simco Road area. Because at that time, when the county lacked a comprehensive plan and any zoning ordinances at all, a number of controversial projects that had been rejected in Ada County were being shifted "across the border" into laissez faire Elmore County. The issue of the moment was preventing those particular types of often objectionable projects from winding up in Elmore County. "We were more concerned with stopping waste dumps and adult book stores," that former commissioner said, than looking beyond those issues to the overall long-term development of the county, and issues such as wind turbine farms and nuclear power plants weren't on anybody's radar at all.

That's a pretty realistic analysis of the plan at the time it was created. When it comes to land use planning, no matter how creatively you think ahead, something comes up that you never considered, and issues of the moment tend to cloud the overall vision. That's just the reality of how things actually work.

Whether or not the county should, or even can, rezone the land southwest of Hammett to allow construction of a nuclear power plant is one issue, and the current issue of the moment.

But in the long run, the county needs to seriously review and revise the heavy industry/manufacturing section of its comprehensive plan, because the water constraints on Simco Road, and likely future commercial and residential development in that area, make it a poor location today to concentrate industrial development, and more importantly it puts severe restrictions on the ability of the communities of Glenns Ferry and Hammett to take advantage of the job and tax base benefits of any major industrial development that might occur in the county. That's wrong.

A new vision is needed that allows everyone to share in the rewards, while still balancing traditional values of land uses. A new, serious public debate over the long-term development of this county is, obviously, desperately needed.

-- Kelly Everitt


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Sounds like a good analysis as the comp plan is out of date and needs to reflect new evnets

-- Posted by walmart_greeter on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 12:40 PM

I dont say this to be condescending but there are reasons that GF and Hammett are not industrial meccas at this point in time. I dont need to say them being that all who read this know them or should know them. I dont criticize the Council for not having a more conducive plan because there is no need for it. This current debate aside, the number of serious inquiries and plans is minimal and not worthy of the time and energy needed to construct better policies. Reinventing the Comp. Plan is a bit extreme but some minor modifications could be in order if the need arises. I hear a lot of people wanting to trash this plan and start over. Give it time and think it through a bit more and then we'll see how it goes.

-- Posted by twilcox1978 on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 12:42 PM

The ECCP is fine and there is a reason for it as well as the word "only." There is a reason why people live where they do and as they CHOOSE to. The ECCP was not in conflict but those 3 ECC's were to stupid to read their own document. Work was done on this document in 2004 and again in 2007. You think the "only" factor would have been figured OUT and removed. These 3 people have no common sense and should not be paid 3K a month for what they do...cost US money (and we pay them to do it time and time again). For those of us that have been around the thorny bush a few times with these 3 knew what would happen. The question is why did this take months and months to send back to P & Z? My testimony and others pointed out this problem MONTHS ago. We read and researched YOUR "vision" for you.

Spineless. What a waste of tax money all 3 of you are. All 3 of you should be sued based on stupidity alone. Good luck with the AEHI buck passing...hope it was worth it.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 2:05 PM

Wow Kelly now that is excellent. Right on the money and very true. The only thing I would like to add is that the Commissioners and opponents of this rezone are looking at the "only" in the comp plan as in that area is the "only" area for heavy industrial when in actuality it's clearly a typo with the comma being moved to the other side of "only" it reads totally different and is in total harmony with the rest of the comp plan. I was there I know where the comma was supposed to be but out of 500 pages it is easy to miss one misplacement of a comma. Move the comma and it reads that only with a CUP. Thanks for the article it really read good. Courtney Ireland

-- Posted by desertcowgirl on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 4:05 PM

I guess that it depends on what your definition of "is" is. The, "only", means just that. If you look at the map at P&Z, the shaded area for Heavy Industrial is ONLY out at Simco road. If only meant where ever the heck you want then I would think that the map would reflect a where ever the heck you want kind of shading. In addition the tables that are in the chapter 8 revision from 04/15/09 show that a lot of different and less invasive type of industry can't even apply for a CUP anywhere accept at Simco Rd. So taken with the fact that the visual aids match exactly the "only" wording, it's obvious what was meant. It is very dishonest to try and spin the Comp plan because AEHI wants it to be so. The Comp plan will have to be changed if the County Chickenmissioners want to approve the rezone.

-- Posted by AtomicDog on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 5:01 PM

Desertcowgirl...how nice that you owned up to who you are. You are really something. We knew it was you...AEHI sell out. Talk about being a freak. You should be ashamed. Talk about no backbone. Cowgirl? You are funny. You are one to talk. Me a liar! You are a total sell out.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 6:19 PM

OpinionMissy:

You are a dolt. To call those people "spineless" and "stupid" is proof of your own idocity.

What makes me laugh is how, in every blog, you put out like you are such a "know it all," about every subject or job, yet I have never seen you out in the community, or volunteering, or applying for one of the many positions of which you bash the current occupant.

Everyone knows that this isn't just about the word "only." Had you seen that you and your big mouth would have pointed that out...

The documents ARE in conflict. If the commissioners pass it as is, ANYONE can move in and build shop, before AEHI would have a chance. Is that what we want? Is that what we need? No; so therefore the ECC is looking out for the community's best interest, as usual. There is no reason to rush this...it is too vital and too important to slap a "pass" stamp on and move forward.

Get off you computer and do something productive.

-- Posted by mhgirl on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 8:45 PM

mhgirl, I am productive thank you. I work and you do not pay for me. As for doing things in the community, I do volunteer. I work with the terminally ill. So, I will get off "you" computer and be productive. Another idiot heard from. As for the word "only" that is what this is all about and it was in my testimony...2 times. Review the tapes. Yep stupid is as stupid does. Rush this...it has been nearly a year of BS. You truly are a moron. Have a nice night.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 10:00 PM

Your "testimony." Cracks me up...

LOL! Another "Self-learned" expert.

-- Posted by mhgirl on Wed, Jun 17, 2009, at 10:22 PM

So MhGirl,

Did you get up an be heard........

-- Posted by workingbee on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 12:19 AM

No WB, she is another one of the "do-gooders" of this community that can spout off but never gets off her butt to do anything unless it will change her life or there is money to be made. She will be one that asks how did this happen and why did nobody say this was being done when it all goes to heck and falls apart. Ignorance is bliss to many.

WB, I hope your pups are well. My new one is now 23 pounds! She went up 5 pounds in 10 days. She will be a big girl for sure. Take care!

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 11:40 AM

The P&Z meeting was mostly uneventful. They didn't have the transcripts from the CC meeting so they didn't want to proceed until they knew exactly what they were being asked to do. One of the board member drew nods and laughter from the other board members when he said that they should just tell the CC's that they are STILL happy with their recommendation to deny the rezone and should just send it right back. One of the board members testified for AEHI at the public meeting and was taken to task a little bit. He showed his lack of integrity when he was asked if he could be impartial and he said yes. Wonder how much AEHI stock he owns? I didn't see any of the board members testify against AEHI, even though I'm sure that most voted against the rezone. But I suppose this means that now our public officials can testify for or against private companies and add their official clout to one side or the other.

-- Posted by AtomicDog on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 12:20 PM

Ah yes...the ability or inability to be impartial after the show that was put on by KC and Courtney. Pardon me if I find it to be a 100% load of BS. I had respect for KC at one point because he always seemed to really read things and review documents and always asked questions. Well, respect no more. He made it clear where he stands and that he is far less than impartial. Oh well, grounds for appeal when this hits the skids and ends up in court. Folks will learn then.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 12:38 PM

Hu Kelly and all,

I don't think the ECC's are as confused as you believe. I submit they intentionally broke their own rules because of the lure of easy money. Details below.

And Kelly, you forgot the KEY phrase in the CP, "to protect the rural quality of life." That is why heavy industrial is restricted to Simco Rd. You seem to forget Hammett and GF WILL enjoy the tax base benefit of any industry brought there. There is pleanty of water for a normal industry there, just not a water guzzling nuclear power plant. Don't you find it concerning that Gillispie claims he will not tap the Snake River, and claims his plant will mystically only use100,000 gallons per day, with left over water for crops, but if put on Simco Rd he admits it would not be cost effective to build a pipeline down to the Snake for the water. If the very nuke company Areva admits the EPR needs way more than 100,000 gpd, why have the ECC's fallen in love with the so-called "great jobs" it will create? Why did they swear they resisted learning any nuclear details, prevent any mention of nuke power, then decide at the last moment that despite the nuke plant CLEARLY violating the CP, that since they like the jobs at the nuke plant, they order P&Z to re-write the CP and strike an agreement to develope the land for their buddies AEHI.

Here is my explanation of their illegal turnabout. I posted this, plus the longer references & url, on June 16, 3:58 PN, I snip the references here for space, but you can verify it all at the Banter Box...Peter

Hi all,

Had to add a thought about why the ECC's broke their own rules, and suddenly backpeddled to bend over for Gillispie's promises of profit. Check the fake Fox TV news story I paste below, that claims Gillispie is FUNDED with $70 Million which will pay for the NRC license and property! This is a blatant lie by Fox and Gillispie. They do NOT suddenly have these funds, and it costs over $150 million for an NRC permit if they did! But let's review this fiasco. First, the ECC's claimed the law mandated NO ONE talk about the nuclear power plant. They had to swear they did no research, nor communications, and citizens were told it was illegal to mention ANYTHING about the nuke plant, and only speak of how this Ag to Industrial rezone woulf fit or NOT FIT the Comprehensive Plan. The CP clearly says Industry on Simco. So yesterday the ECC's admitted the rezone did NOT fit the Comp Plan, THEN gushed about how much money it would bring into Elmore, so they ordered P&Z to re-write the CP and write a deal for developement with AEHI! What happened to "It is illegal to mention the nuke plant"??? Without a public hearing on the nuke plant, they order a re-write FOR the nuke plant, because THEY love it? Illegal hypocrits!

This fake Fox TV news story was planted the Friday before their first decision date when they post-poned for one week. Wanna bet Gillispie made sure they all got to see it??? But I contacted this Source Capital Group to see if they had really given Gillispie $70 million and "funded" the project. Well, in fact NO, they have NOT funded AEHI, but said they would offer the stock to their customers HOPING to raise the money! Then I sent them all the other fake news releases from AEHI, claiming other funding, and revoked partnerships to build 5 reactors in Yemen until their new partners credentials were challenged. Then SCGroup admitted they were still vetting AEHI, still conducting "due diligence", BEFORE they will TRY to raise funds. HMMM. Then I looked SCGroup up for any honesty problems, and golly, they have been fined for hiring known bad agents, and misrepresenting information to clients! HMMM, birds of a feather flock together, eh? I paste the SCGroup admission they are still vetting AEHI at the bottom. Sorry for the length, but this seems like important info to share with my Elmore neighbors...Peter

-- Posted by DrPeterRickardsDPM on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 1:55 PM

Hi workingbee -

I didn't feel the need be "heard" on Monday; I went to listen for the time I could; it wasn't until I read the ineffective rhetoric I saw on here that I was annoyed. There are definitely some valid points on this blog, but others are absolutely unnecessary and unconstructive.

I've talked to the commissioners one on one, several times over the past years and I think the ECC all are doing a great job, now. They have a lot on their plates, besides this one issue, and are doing the best they can; they go beyond what they are asked to do.

Slightly off topic, I was at the budget hearing for the city last month too and was equally impressed by the council members. I feel that our elected officials are working hard and you can tell when having a conversation with them that they believe in their jobs. They can't please everyone, but they all have the city and county's best interest in mind.

As Councilman Schroder often says, if you don't like how an elected official is doing their job, you can file for a petition to have them removed. But, I feel that it is more effective, rather than bashing the ECC and their hard work or calling them names, it is more effective to sit and have a cup of coffee with them and TALK.

-- Posted by mhgirl on Thu, Jun 18, 2009, at 11:06 PM

And sing Amazing Grace and make smores by the fire...

Great idea and on my list of things to do. I would rather have my front tooth pulled.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sat, Jun 20, 2009, at 3:37 PM

I tire of those who say that the comp plan should be reinvented. One singular event is not suffice to have to scrap it and start over. If the public feels that every new business that decides to come in, should provoke this fundamental change then no wonder that new businesses have not came here. One does not reinvent the auto for every new turn in the road or speed bump. The car (comp plan) should adjust for the situation but stay intact until a point where the adjustments are greater than any gain that would have been had by leaving it alone.

Reactionary types are who salesmen like Gillispie prey upon. They want people to react quickly with little forethought. So if you reinvent the comp plan now and some business comes in next year, are you going to champion it being reinvented again. By making this ever more complex, the county and all of its inhabitants stand to gain nothing except lost time and future legal troubles. Those who seek to make sweeping changes at every turn are usually those who dont have strong convictions and are not willing to stand by something through Thick and THIN.

The true consequences of this action are that not everyone will prosper. Average joes will not have free, undaunted access to high paying jobs. The spike in retail sales and such will be about 4 years and then settle down to levels that are about 3% above the current levels. 3% increase in sales is not enough to make the realities happen that Billy Mays and his michelin man promise.

-- Posted by twilcox1978 on Sat, Jun 20, 2009, at 9:40 PM

Tim, I am with you on this. However, since the CP is in conflict with AEHI...they are going to rewrite it to allow this and that was made clear at the last ECC's meeting. Ms. Cruser has her plan and the sheep will follow. This will open the door to all of the other "wonderful" things that cannot be put anywhere else because SOME (just not ours) elected officials have values. I am sure all of the building will really help the GF harware store owned by Mr. Rose. It is also nice that KC from P & Z who was so nice to testify on this matter will also have a voice in this after his presentation before the ECC's on behalf of AEHI. Who has what to gain here and how much have they been paid. Follow the money because it is ALWAYS about the money.

-- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sat, Jun 20, 2009, at 11:32 PM


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