A proposed 55-acre subdivision near Garwood was rejected by Kootenai County commissioners Wednesday because the developers wanted to keep a private airstrip open as part of the project.
Commissioners were willing to change Ranch Aero’s zoning from light industrial to rural. They also favor subdividing the acreage, located west of U.S. Highway 95 and south of Garwood, into 11 lots.
But they were not willing to grant a zoning variance that would allow the airstrip to continue operating.
Larry and Sharon Gilman, Charles and Carol Tramner, Donald and Mary Anderson, Gary and Janet Sylte and Terry and Jorja Auten proposed the development. Since they wanted approval of all the changes or nothing, the airstrip variance killed the package of zoning changes.
Two earlier public hearings drew substantial criticism, commission Chairman Dick Compton said.
“There were safety and noise concerns from the airplanes,” said Charles Corsi, who lives next to Ranch Aero and is pleased with the commissioners’ decision. “A lot of folks voiced concerns about fuel storage” at the airstrip.
The county Planning and Zoning Commission earlier recommended against allowing the airstrip to remain active as part of the development.
The commissioners voted unanimously against the project Wednesday.
Charles Tramner, one of the developers, said he isn’t sure what they will do next. “We’re glad they made a ruling of some sort,” he said.
In other action, the commissioners directed the Panhandle Health District to review a proposed landfill at Louisiana-Pacific Corp.’s Post Falls mill. L-P is considering building a landfill on the site, which is within the city limits, to dispose of ash from its wood-fired boilers.
Those boilers are used for drying dimension lumber manufactured at the mill.
Ed Hale of the health district said he has not received a formal application for the project. State law requires that the county commission and the health district approve any landfills on private land.