Three language changes to the Zoning Ordinance were proposed at the July 22 Planning Commission meeting by Cristal Adkins, Zoning Administrator.
The first proposed change gave a more precise definition of a camp. According to the proposed language, a campground is “Any area, whether privately owned, used on a daily, nightly, or longer basis for the accommodations of two or more tents or recreational camping vehicles for compensation. Privately-owned camping areas of up to four sites without compensation do not fall under the campground definition. Five or more sites, whether free of charge or for compensation, are considered a campground.”
The Zoning Administrator explained that five campers are considered a campground by the state, regardless of compensation. According to the county’s current definition, the number of campsites does not count. Gary Ruskell inquired about tiny homes in relation to campgrounds, to which Adkins replied that “tiny houses” are not eligible if they are used all year. She said that a campground must be vacated until four months of the year.
A unanimous vote by the planning commission sets to bring the definition of language modification to the public hearing at their next meeting.
In addition, a discussion centered on a more restrictive provision regarding the use of “holding tanks” for wastewater handling also took place. Adkins explained that a parcel with a seasonal dwelling or a part-time residence has to be pumped frequently to handle wastewater. Although a Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) will cost more upfront, it can be less expensive over time due to the cost of frequent pumping. To regulate, a pumping contract will be required. The language change proposed will allow for the installation of a holding tank at the approval of the Zoning office.
Meanwhile, Duane Bakke inquired about using “well,” suggesting that there are many other methods to get bulk water to a cabin. Adkins stated that the language change was necessary due to the desire of many cabin owners to install a holding tank. Some people want to get rid of the SSTS if the drain field is damaged due to the point of sale rules for inspection and have it replaced with a holding tank instead.
Adkins and the commission agreed that they would continue to investigate these issues before bringing back an amended proposal for a future meeting.
A third language amendment proposed will make it impossible for homeowners to install their own septic systems. Adkins explained that when an individual attempts installing a designed system, it takes many trips for a Zoning officer to inspect the progress. Installations by licensed installers only require one inspection. Half of the state’s counties prohibit homeowners from installing their own septic systems.
Approval to take the code change to the next public hearing was received with a vote of 6-1with Arlynn Hovey voting no.