Planning Commission Information

General Overview

Appointment of a Planning and Zoning Commission is provided for in Idaho Code Title 67, Chapter 65, Local Land Use Planning. The County Commissioners may appoint a planning commission and a zoning commission or a planning and zoning commission acting in both capacities.  Kootenai County has decided to separate the roles.  The primary role of the planning commission is to provide recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners regarding Comprehensive Plan amendments and adoption or amendment of land use ordinances.  Hearing Examiners are responsible for land use permitting/rezoning requests. Members of this commission hold office at the pleasure of the Board of County Commissioners. 

Purpose

The planning commission is made up of seven individuals who have been appointed by the Board of County Commissioners to review and act on matters related to land use planning and development. Planning commissioners may or may not have previous land use experience. The Comprehensive Plan is a proactive process that establishes goals and policies for directing future land use decisions.  Planning efforts should always involve broad and diverse segments of the community to assure that the resulting plan fully addresses community needs. 

 Operational Structure

Meetings: The planning commission holds two types of meetings.

  1. Workshops are working sessions that allow planning commissioners to review proposed land use code amendments, work on implementing or updating the Comprehensive Plan or addressing other items requested by the County.  The meetings are open to the public, but public comments are not accepted as a general rule.  Workshops are normally held as needed on Thursdays from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The number of meetings is determined by workload requirements.  In 2019 the planning commission held over 25 workshops.   Fourteen workshops were held in 2020. 
  2. Public Hearings are meetings to gather input for stakeholders prior to the planning commission making formal recommendations on land use or Comprehensive Plan changes.  Those recommendations are forwarded to the County Commissioners for their consideration.  Public hearings are generally held on the fourth Thursday of the month starting at 6:00 p.m. 

Time Requirements:  The amount of time individual commissioners spend on preparation depends on their roles and responsibilities. Types of items commissioners may work on include:

  1. Reviewing documents prior to workshops and Public Hearings to be able to participate in discussions and vote on motions. 
  2. Researching and developing documents that would be used at workshops and Public Hearings. 
  3. Coordinating with Community Development or other agencies to gather input on items that are under planning commission consideration

 *For additional information, please contact the Planning Commission chair David Levine here