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Planning and Zoning Board Decisions Met with Objections and Further Questions

Planning and Zoning Meeting February 16, 2017 - Photo Credit Edith Williams

Written by Edith Williams – HSB Contributing Reporter

CUP #2017-02 3 Springs LLC 

On February 16, 2017, the Boise County Planning and Zoning Commission convened at the Horseshoe Bend City Hall to take public testimony regarding the Conditional Use Permit applications by 3 Springs LLC and Korell Outfitters. The hearing was well attended by the public, with standing room only.

3 Springs LLC seeks permission for commercial operation of a private game bird hunting preserve on the 360 acres of agricultural range land they own at 21 Watson Lane in Gardena. The applicant also has a pending application with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game for a “Shooting Preserve Permit,” which according to sources with Fish and Game, exceeds State requirements and is in its final stages of review.

Per the applicant’s explanation, access and shooting activities would only be permitted on established and flagged courses, under a guide’s supervision and on only 200 of the 360 acres they own. The 200 acres where the hunts would take place are located on the top of their mountainside property, where there are no residences within the impact area of the proposed hunting activity. On the bottom half of the property, the 3 Springs LLC application proposes 4 RV pads to accommodate overnight stays for customers ordering multi-day hunts with sanitary facilities and a building to check customers in and out.

Click to Enlarge    3 Springs Site Plan

Very few members of the public were neutral on or in favor of the 3 Springs LLC application, and over 20 individuals appreciated the opportunity to be heard.  Public concern primarily focused on the Gardena Bridge/HWY 55 turnoff, dust abatement and increased traffic on County maintained Brownlee Road between the Gardena Bridge and the applicant’s property, sanitation and emergency services access on the hunting course, fire safety, loss of range land feed on adjacent properties due to cattle not willing to graze next to shooting activities, general noise from the shooting activities and concern for nesting indigenous birds and wintering deer and elk.

After hearing public testimony, commissioners asked the applicants to stipulate to additional conditions to the permit, such as establishing a water reservoir for fire suppression, a helicopter landing pad for Lifeflight, and sanitary facility as Central District Health sees fit in the hunting area, compliance with fire restrictions imposed by the county, and getting an official, certified noise level reading on the actual impact of the expected gunfire noise on area residents.  Receiving no objections from the applicants, a motion by the P & Z Commissioners to approve the application with the original and additional stipulations was made and seconded. However, when put to a vote, 2 of the 4 P & Z commissioners did not vote in support of the motion. Commissioners voting against were Mitchell Tain and Rosemary Ardinger.  Mr. Tain felt that the applicants needed to make a greater effort to meet with the other residents in the area and get along with them, while Ms. Ardinger reasoned that she is not satisfied with information presented regarding the proposed RV pads.

With a tied vote, 2 in favor and 2 against, the commissioners referred to their attorney for interpretation of the result and as to how to proceed.  Notification on the result on the 3 Springs LLC CUP application is scheduled for the next Planning and Zoning meeting in March.

#2017-04 Korell Outfitters

The next hearing on the agenda was for Korell Outfitters, who were seeking permission to use their 2 acre lot in the Lowman area Archie Creek subdivision as a base camp of operation for their Lowman area guided hunt activities, which would include hounds and horses being temporarily house on the property. The Korells are duly licensed as outfitters and guides by the state of Idaho have been in the business for many years. They also hold a permit from the US Forest Service to conduct their operation on Federal land.

Neighboring property owners in the Archie Creek subdivisions appeared to be “weekenders” with primary residences in the Treasure Valley, voiced concerns with the noise of the operation’s hound dogs, increased traffic and violations of the subdivision’s CC & R’s which allegedly prohibit commercial use of the property. At times, this hearing was disrupted by contentious and angry outbursts from the audience. Testifying in favor of the application was an employee of the Korells grateful for the local jobs opportunities Korell Outfitters provides, as well as John Kidd, District Ranger of the Lowman Ranger District attesting to the revenue this business brings to Boise County.

After hearing public testimony, the P & Z Commission noted that they have no jurisdiction over the enforcement of the subdivision CC& R’s, but added limitations on the number of dogs and livestock allowed on the property, assurances that commercial use of the property adhered to Boise County road width, as well as ingress and egress standards and that the Korells place a decibel meter on the edge of their property to monitor and assure noise levels would not exceed 65 decibels.  At the Sheriff’s request, the Commission Chair also asked the Korells to stipulate to filing hunt plans with the Boise County Sheriff, to include number of people in the party, general hunt area, day of departure, day of expected return, equipment etc.

The Korells took exception to the stipulation or requirement of filing hunt plans with the Sheriff’s office and the P & Z Commission eventually accepted that such information is protected proprietary business information.

A motion to approve the application with the original and new stipulations, to include limitation of number of dogs and livestock was made and seconded and all 4 commissioners voted in favor of approval.