Proposed Changes to the Subdivision Ordinance

Title 12 Text Amendment: Chapter 6 – Subdivisions Adding the definition and process of a Minor Land Division and redefining short plat and subdivision

– Board of County Commissioners has initiated an amendment to Title 12 (Land Use Regulations) to amend Chapter 6 Subdivisions to add the definition and process of a Minor Land Division as a division of four (4) or fewer lots, amend the definition of Short Plat to be the dividing of ten (10) or fewer lots, define a Subdivision as the dividing of eleven (11) or more lots, and additional procedural and technical changes.

To view the current code please click here and navigate to Title 12, Chapter 6: Subdivisions and read through the subchapters. 

HISTORY OF CHANGES

  • Board of County Commissioners: Public Hearing- August 4, 2016 (Remanded to P+Z Commission)
  • Planning and Zoning Commission: Public Workshop- September 1, 2016
  • Planning and Zoning Commission: Public Workshop- September 15, 2016
  • Planning and Zoning Commission:  Public Hearing- October 6, 2016
  • Board of County Commissioners: Public Hearing- Scheduled for November 10, 2016

SUMMARY

The proposed amendment to the subdivision ordinance will streamline the process for subdividing property into four or fewer lots while increasing the number of lots processed as a “Short Plat” from four to ten lots.  Other procedural and technical amendments are addressed.

The proposal as reviewed by the County Commissioners at public hearing was remanded to the Planning and Zoning Commission for review.  The current proposal incorporates the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommended changes based on consideration at the workshops.  There is a Board of County Commissioners public hearing set for Nov. 10 to allow the BOCC to make their final decision on the proposed ordinance changes.  A brief summary of the proposed changes is set forth below with the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommendations noted.

•    The parameters for “Short Plats” will be changed from 2-4 lots to 5-10 lots with the review process and standards for review unchanged. This is an administrative and agency review with notification of property owners within 300’, a 14 day comment period, and no public hearing required.

•    Creation of a new category, “Minor Land Division”, for the division of land into 4 or fewer lots. Minor Land Divisions will be reviewed and processed by County staff.   The proposed review process will be administrative only with the Planning Director making final recommendation of approval or disapproval to the Board of County Commissioners.

On Oct. 6 the P+Z Commission added the following elements to the originally proposed code amendment as reviewed by the County Commissioners.

  • Lands shall be eligible for one Minor Land Division with further divisions of such property processed as a Short Plat or Subdivision.
  • Lands divided by the Short Plat process shall only be further divided by Subdivision process.
  • Identification of existing easements.
  • Identification of wetlands.
  • Requires review by Panhandle Health District for septic system suitability (also referred to as sanitary restriction “lifted”).
  • Lots created shall conform to certain Bonner County design standards for subdivisions including: Code Section 12-621 (Lot Design Standards); Code Section 12-622 (Submerged Lands); and Code Section 12-626A (lots should be designed around environmental hazards).
  • Note requiring an approved fire suppression method when building- location permit applies.
  • A Notice to all neighboring properties within 300 feet with 14 day comment period.

To view the Ordinance with the Planning and Zoning recommendations from Oct. 6, 2016 please click here.  This is the version that the Board of County Commissioners will should be voting on at the November 10 hearing.