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LETTER: Mysterious misinformation?

| March 9, 2022 3:45 PM

Hey Wallace… Once again we have the spread of “mysterious” misinformation.

The SNP recently received a letter from Ron Niemi regarding the zoning of holding district lands in Wallace. Perhaps Mr. Neimi is not aware that the Wallace Planning and Zoning Commission held two meetings and a workshop on this topic. Mr. Niemi did not attend any of those meetings. If he had attended any of the meetings, he would know that the Holding District regulations currently state that the purpose of the district is to “preserve the vacant character of the land.” That means that NO development is presently allowed. Giving zoning designations (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.) to lands that are zoned for holding actually gives property owners the right to build and develop. It appears that Mr. Niemi is also unaware that Wallace has a valid, existing Comprehensive Plan in place. Indeed, it was amended in 2021. There is no requirement in the law to update a Comprehensive Plan every time you amend a zoning code.

Mr. Niemi also claims the city’s actions will open the city up to legal challenge. Perhaps he doesn’t know that the city has amended the zoning code several times in the last few years, including rezoning the downtown buildings to legalize residential uses, adding laws to regulate food trucks and chicken-keeping, and revising the Site Development Code, among other zoning actions.

It saddens me that a small group of locals have decided to make it a sport to attack anything our city leaders do by planting seeds of misinformation and conspiracy. There appears to be a common thread here… Team Ryder will always strive to stir up drama and controversy where none exists.

I encourage people to keep themselves informed of city actions by participating in the public process. Wallace is no longer a sleepy ghost town. The city has been on auto-pilot for many decades because there were never any real development pressures or problems. With the population of Idaho growing rapidly, however, the city is trying to take a proactive approach by looking toward the future and updating its laws to protect the quality of life we all love in Wallace. Wallace is a small city with a small budget and catching up to the modern world takes time, money and great effort. Please get the facts from the right sources and support the city as they try to make these changes for your short and long-term benefit.

KEVIN PICKOLICK

Wallace