Petition for judicial review filed after latest Camp Bay Road ruling

By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
Reader Staff

Area residents Fred and Jennifer Arn have filed a petition for judicial review in Idaho District Court regarding the Bonner County commissioners’ decision Dec. 19 to vacate the last 2,550 feet of Camp Bay Road to developer M3 ID Camp Bay, LLC.

This is the second time that the Arns, who live on the road, have filed for such a review. The first time occurred in April 2021, when the county voted to vacate the road to M3, which is building a large-scale housing development in the bay. Following the Arns’ petition, a judge remanded the decision back to the county, ruling that the board failed to prove that the vacation was “in the public interest” — a requirement under Idaho Code.

Commissioners then voted against the vacation in February 2022 following public testimony that called into question whether Camp Bay Road provided public access to Lake Pend Oreille. M3 took the issue to court in March, and a judge in September remanded the decision back to the county again.

Commissioners heard the file for a third time in December 2022, but limited public testimony to whether M3’s proposal to build a dirt trail providing access to a corner of the bay would be in the public interest. Despite repeated requests to allow for testimony on the vacation itself — and, by extension, the outstanding issue of existing public access — the board voted to vacate the road, prompting the Arns’ latest filing.

The petition, filed on behalf of the Arns by Boise law firm Givens Pursley, alleges that the commissioners applied the wrong standard to the vacation request; failed to prove that the action was in the public interest or consider all relevant information relating to the proceedings; failed to determine whether the right-of-way parcel being vacated had a fair market value of $2,500 or more; utilized erroneous findings of fact unsupported by evidence; used an inappropriate exercise of discretion; and made a decision which was “arbitrary and capricious.”

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