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Public comment period for county comprehensive plan ends Friday

November 14, 2018

POCATELLO — Bannock County is moving forward with its process to create a 20-year comprehensive plan outlining the future growth and development process for the region.

Bannock County planning officials recently hosted an open house for the comprehensive plan and those interested in providing input for the county to consider has until Friday to submit comments online at www.bannockcounty2040.com.

The comprehensive plan outlines county priorities for land development, recreation, community character, housing equity, connectivity and, among others, public health. The website for the comprehensive plan uses an interactive map of Bannock County that allows users to drop a pin in a specific location inside the county and leave a comment for officials to consider when developing the comprehensive plan.

Bannock County 2040 is a planning effort to help guide future development and investment in the county by updating the comprehensive plan. Bannock County 2040 looks regionally to create positive, synergistic relationships with communities and stakeholders, and will assist the county in providing direction on project implementation and public fund expenditures, addressing where and how future development should take place and helping manage growth.

“We are at the very beginning of this process but a comprehensive plan is really designed to help the county know where we want to grow and how we want to grow, said Rebecca Robison, assistant planner for Bannock County. “ It really should be the communities plan and not just the plan of public officials.”

Among many other topics, county officials are asking the public to help them identify the following:

What do you like about Bannock County today? What are assets to the county?What areas of the county should grow and be strengthened?Where in the county are there opportunities for future amenities and improvements?Which areas or facilities in Bannock County do you view as a challenge and why?

Robison said that the Bannock County 2040 initiative will follow a three-phase project approach.

Currently the initiative is in the first phase, which is about gathering information and understanding the issues. This phase features an in-depth assessment of existing conditions and plans from the county, neighboring jurisdictions and statewide partner agencies. An advisory committee comprised of select members of the public, local agencies and regional partners has been developed and will help inform the planning process throughout the duration of the comprehensive plan update.

The second phase is about integration. During this stage of the process, project leaders will synthesize the material collected in the first phase to create project goals, strategies and a community vision that matches the community’s desires. Phase two will also see the project team developing a revised future land use map, conducting additional community involvement opportunities throughout the county, and continuing work with the advisory committee.

The last phase will finalize the plan by incorporating community input, strategic solutions and long-term goals for the county. The final plan will go out to the public for a final round of review prior to adoption at the end of 2019.

“This comprehensive plan will outline where our work will be dedicated over the next 20 years,” Robison said. “That could involve developing better recreational opportunities that connect to public lands or focusing on ways to improve agricultural ways in our county. This plan will give us a path forward with our various communities in the county so that we can help each other direct growth in a way that benefits everyone.”

For more information on this effort, contact Andrea Gumm at cp2040@bannockcounty.us or 208-870-8751 or Jeremy Welch at jeremyw@bannockcounty.us or 208-236-7230.

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