Thank you for reporting on the Kootenai County commissioners and the vitally important comprehensive land use plan.
Commissioners should listen primarily to guidance obtained through the county’s survey, which revealed that citizens want to manage growth in order to protect their environment, rural areas and quality of life. The plan will be judged by how well it meets these ideals.
Developing, implementing and enforcing effective ordinances based on the plan is key to preventing and combating pervasive blight, which encourages habitation by substance abusers, resulting in formerly well-cared-for housing areas becoming slums, which began well before the current recession.
Additional housing and malls cannot be justified when many vacancies exist and businesses are struggling. Developers should refocus on rehabilitating existing structures, for which I believe grants and low-interest funding are available, which would provide employment, improve the overall economy and sustainability of these areas and reduce sprawl.
Infrastructure costs have been passed on to existing homeowners, rather than to developers as in other states, because the last comprehensive plan failed to address this issue, while they and real estate agencies reaped fortunes. Unregulated growth is detrimental and unfair. Too much of paradise has been paved over.