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Posted on: July 29, 2020

Public Hearing on Re-Entry Facilities Draft Ordinance

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On August 27, 2020, at 6:00 p.m., a public hearing will be held so the public has the opportunity to present public testimony to the Planning Commission regarding a draft ordinance addressing re-entry facilities.

Many have asked why a hearing is needed. The information below may help answer your questions.

VOTERS SAID NO, SO WHY IS THE COUNTY DRAFTING A RE-ENTRY CENTER LAND USE AMENDMENT?

After the Idaho Department of Corrections announced it was considering Kootenai County as a potential location for a prisoner re-entry center, Kootenai County Commissioners initiated an advisory vote to gauge public opinion. The results of the non-binding advisory vote found more than 78 percent of Kootenai County voters were in opposition to locating a re-entry facility in Kootenai County.

Though a re-entry center has not been formally proposed, County Commissioners have asked the Planning and Zoning Commission to draft an amendment to the county’s land use code specific to re-entry facilities.

The county currently has no regulations governing re-entry facilities. As such, the State of Idaho could build a facility without the county’s review or permission. The proposed land use amendment safeguards against this. Under the proposed amendment, a re-entry facility would be subject to the conditional use permit process, which includes public review. Approval would only be granted if it was shown that the facility would be compatible with the surrounding area.

The proposed amendment simply establishes parameters for a review process if a re-entry center were to be formally proposed.

Visit our FAQs for more info: https://keepingkootenai.com/faqs

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