By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
A rezone proposal for a gas station and other amenities to be built at the intersection of Dufort and Vay roads, southeast of Priest River, will go before the Bonner County commissioners for a second time on Wednesday, June 14, after the previous board remanded the file back to the Planning Department in December 2022, encouraging the property owners to also file for a Comprehensive Plan map amendment and to be more detailed in their plans for the site.
Property owners Sean and Laura Hammond, of Priest River, are applying for a Comp Plan map amendment from Rural Residential to Neighborhood Commercial and a zone change from Rural-5 to Rural Service Center on about 12 acres just south of Willow Bay Resort.
Application documents show plans for a gas station, convenience store, boat storage and five residential lots of approximately one-acre each on the property.
According to the amendment application narrative, written by Jeremy Grimm of Whiskey Rock Planning + Consulting on behalf of the Hammonds, growth at Willow Bay Resort and the surrounding neighborhood has made it so “many area residents and visitors demand a variety of commercial retail services including gas/fuel sales which currently are unavailable in the area.”
“Without a successful Comprehensive Plan map amendment and subsequent rezone to Rural Service Center, it is impossible to provide retail services to the local residents and tourists who flock to the area,” Grimm wrote.
While the application narrative argued that the map amendment and rezone are in accordance with the goals and objectives of the county’s Comp Plan, members of the Bonner County Planning Commission found March 21 that the file did not align with several elements, including property rights, economic development, community design, public services and land use.
The recommendation to deny the Comp Plan map amendment will now go to the board of Bonner County commissioners for a final decision at the June 14 planning hearing, which will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Bonner County Administration Building (1500 U.S. Hwy. 2 in Sandpoint). Also at that hearing, the BOCC will consider the rezone for the same property, which is the file previously approved by the Bonner County Zoning Commission in October 2022 but subsequently remanded back to planning staff by the board in December.
To view the map amendment application, as well as an aspirational site plan map, go to bonnercountyid.gov/FileAM0002-23. The rezone application can be viewed at bonnercountyid.gov/FileZC0012-22.
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