From the CDA Press
Sunday, June 30, 2013
By KIM COOPER
Realtors obtain objective opinion on ULUC.
We members of the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, Idaho Association of Realtors and National Association of Realtors take our commitment to protect and preserve the private property rights of our citizens seriously.
As you probably know, we fund a political action committee we call RPAC. This committee is funded from voluntary donations by some of our members and members across the country. Although this money is often used to support candidates that support our goals of preserving personal property rights we also find occasion to support – or oppose – government actions on local, state and national levels. In fact, 70 percent of the money we donate comes back to assist in our own communities. If your Realtor does not contribute, you may want to know why.
Given the magnitude of interest and the differing opinions expressed in this paper and throughout the communities affected by the proposed changes of the Land Use Code, we decided to invest a significant amount of those RPAC dollars for an objective opinion on the draft copy ULUC available to us. We sent Kootenai County’s draft to a firm* well versed in these issues, who, in part, gave the following opinions:
* Point 1: The proposed ULUC is overly complex and poorly organized, resulting in a development code that is not “clearly stated and user friendly,” contrary to established county policy.
* Point 2: The proposed ULUC would downzone a substantial part of the county’s vacant land.
* Point 3: The flexibility that Article 3-2 provides for expansion, reconstruction and replacement of buildings in the Established Neighborhood (EN) district should be extended to all existing development in the county, not only to existing development located in the EN district.
* Point 4: The proposed rezoning criteria under Section 2-2-8 of the ULUC appear to be inconsistent with and more restrictive than the statutory requirements for zoning amendments under the Idaho Statutes.
* Point 5: The number of errors and internal inconsistencies in the draft of the ULUC that is under consideration suggests that the document remains a work in progress and is not ready to be adopted.
(The opinion goes on to list 14 errors or inconsistencies within the county’s draft, not inclusive, but representative of the current defects in the draft.)
* Point 6: Many provisions of the proposed ULUC contain standards that appear to be arbitrary or are vague.
* Point 7: The proposed ULUC unnecessarily regulates uses that are already regulated by the state of Idaho.
* Point 8: The resource protection standards of Article 5-3 could negatively affect the development potential of affected lots.
* Point 9: The proposed Administrative Review procedures under Section 8-6-10 rais(es) (concerns).
So no matter where you stand on the proposed ULUC, it appears those proponents and detractors have their work cut out for them. There is not space here to reiterate the entire document provided to us, but we will be presenting those concerns to Kootenai County in full for their consideration. The cost to us in contracting for this opinion is likely to pale compared to the potential litigation fees the county may incur should this current ULUC be adopted.
*The firm contracted for this opinion is not licensed in Idaho and was selected solely for their expertise in matters of land use codes across the country.
Trust an expert…call a Realtor. Call your Realtor or visit www.cdarealtors.com to search properties on the Multiple Listing Service or to find a Realtor member who will represent your best interests.
Kim Cooper is a real estate broker and the spokesman for the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors. Kim and the association invite your feedback and input for this column. You may contact them by writing to the Coeur d’Alene Association of Realtors, 409 W. Neider, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815 or by calling (208) 667-0664.