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Twin Falls County comprehensive plan draft open house draws big crowd, lots of questions

The full Comprehensive Draft Plan will be able to be viewed by the public the first week of March
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 3:18 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 11:51 AM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — On Wednesday night, Twin Falls County staff and Orion Planning and Design hosted an open house and Zoom meeting to discuss and respond to questions about the county’s new Comprehensive Plan draft.

The Comprehensive Plan was last updated in 2008, and Allison Mouch, who is a partner ant Orion Planning and Design, and did the PowerPoint presentation of the plan Wednesday night, said her group has been working with the county for the last two years on an audit of the existing plan and update of it.

“All of the information you see tonight we put together with the help of the county staff, planning and zoning commission, county commissioners and steering committee over the past 14 months,” Mouch said.

She also said the updated plan will focus on agricultural preservation, opportunities for economic development, facilitating quality growth, expanding and preserving recreational amenities, and overall quality of life for residents and businesses.

“In the last 13 years, we had an economic downturn. From 2008 to 2011, it impacted growth trends, so now that the county has come out of that you are seeing a lot of additional growth in the cities and surrounding areas,” Mouch said. “It just needs a comprehensive update to reflect now compared to 13 years ago.”

Jane Anderson, who is a Twin Falls County resident and attended the open house, said she is curious how new zoning is going to impact her farm.

“It is adjacent to residential ag, and I am not sure I want to be residential ag and whether my taxes will go up or not, “ Anderson said, “and how to preserve my farm if possible.”

Mouch said the agricultural economy and its importance has been a key theme for the last year, and how that resource will be preserved and protected.

Anderson said she thought Wednesday night’s presentation was “pretty good,” and she got some answers to some of her questions, but she thinks things are still a little vague at this point. However, she is glad the Comprehensive Plan is being updated.

“There is a lot more money coming into the area with the economic opportunity zones. It has brought more investment in,” Anderson said. “And those folks may not have the same values as the folks that are already here.”

Mouch said another reason the plan needed to be updated was that the document needed to be more current in terms of how it looked.

“A lot more graphic, a lot more visual, refining the information so it’s not like you are reading a textbook,” Mouch said.

She also said a key part in updating the Comprehensive Plan will be the implementation section in Chapter 6, and looking at ways the existing zoning code and subdivision regulations should be updated to then reflect the land use goals of the plan.

“So one of our next tasks is to look at the code and then say once this plan is adopted, what changes do we need to make to the regulatory documents to make sure they reflect what the community has told us they want,” Mouch said.

The full Comprehensive Draft Plan will be able to be viewed by the public the first week of March at https://2020.twinfallscounty.org/, and residents can submit their comments through the website or at pandz@co.twin-falls.id.us.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will have a formal consideration and recommendation meeting on March 25, and there is no date yet for when the Twin Falls County Commissioners will have a formal consideration and adoption meeting for the Comprehensive Plan.

Mouch said the Comprehensive Plan Draft is about 150 pages, 300 pages with appendices.

-Original Story-

Wednesday night the Twin Falls County Commission hosts an in-person open house and Zoom meeting to go over the new comprehensive plan for Twin Falls County.

People can view the plan in-person from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in suite 1100 at 630 Addison Avenue West in Twin Falls, listen in over the phone or watch live via Zoom here. Access code information is listed in the graphic below.

For the past 4 years, the county commissioners have been working to update the comprehensive plan, which was last updated in 2008.

Residents are invited to view the updated comprehensive plan on Wednesday, Feb. 17.
Residents are invited to view the updated comprehensive plan on Wednesday, Feb. 17.(KMVT/KSVT)

For more details on the plan, read them here.

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