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The purpose of a special City Council work session held Thursday evening, October 10, was to determine where to start working on the proposed Salmon Development Code and how to proceed from there.

Decisions needing to be made are in two separate categories: One category concerns the basic issues brought forward by the public. The other involves what procedures to follow when considering the 200 plus page document in its entirety.

City Attorney Fred Snook provided an outline of possible procedures and a list of the issues. He said the council has several options including: do an item by item revision; send the document back to the Planning and Zoning Commission with or without comments; abandon the draft and start over using the existing Development Code as a basis or, go through the proposed codes page by page amending and deleting as the council proceeds.

The issues brought forward by the public regarding the proposed Development Code include; the nullification of previous easements, covenants, deed restrictions and any other private agreements, the lack of codes regarding carports, the lack of a Zoning Map, where duplexes should or should not be allowed, Public Purpose Zones and bringing the membership of the P&Z Commission into compliance.

Council members agreed the conflicting membership compliance issue should be the first to resolve. Chapter II section B of the existing development code requires that the P&Z be comprised of up to nine members, one to three of which shall reside in an impact zone. Confusion enters the mix with a city ordinance that states from one to three members on the commission may be impact area residents. The difference is, shall means ‘must’ and may means’ may or may not.’

Attorney Snook told the council that in the opinion of an outside legal source the mandated ‘shall’ takes precedence and therefore the present P&Z membership does not comply with existing city code. He said that the non-compliance opens the door to questions of validity of past or present P&Z recommendations and creates a legal loop hole that if ignored could be grounds for legal challenges. The conflict is coming from within the two city generated documents. There are state laws concerning county Planning and Zoning boards but the state is silent when it comes to city appointed P&Z commissions.

The council unanimously agreed with a motion by Jim Baker to proceed with finding a resolution to the ordinance conflict at the October 16 City Council meeting.

As to dealing with the other issues presented by the public concerning the proposed Salmon Development Code, council members agreed each issue should be addressed separately and thoroughly during regular City Council meetings. Councilman Fred Waidely made a motion to tackle the elements discussed at the most recent public hearing, get those issues cleaned up and make decisions as to what’s going to go into the Development Code. From there the council will proceed to reviewing and, where necessary, making changes to the rest of the document, section by section. An amendment was made to Waidely’s motion that there be a one hour time limit on the council meeting discussions. Upon completion of all those steps the city will schedule a public hearing to obtain input on the changes the council has made to the document.

The process will begin at the October 16 council meeting. The subjects for discussion placed on the published meeting agenda under New Business are: Private Covenants/Agreements Honored in Development Code; Planning and Zoning Membership Requirements and Proposed Public Purpose Zones of the Salmon Development Code.

The regular Salmon City Council meeting will begin at 6PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

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