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The 3 'Rs' of revising

by Alecia Warren
| December 15, 2010 8:00 PM

Reorganizing. Readjusting. Rewording.

The Kootenai County commissioners redefined the three Rs on Tuesday while deliberating on the Land Use chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, the officials rounding the bend to completing the visionary document once and for all.

"Seems like that there's a lot of movement going on, a lot of changes," Commissioner Rick Currie observed before asking to continue deliberations next week.

"A lot of movement, but not changes," replied Commissioner Todd Tondee. "It's a lot of reorganization."

For roughly two hours in the county Administration Building, goals were analyzed, rearranged and rephrased. To accommodate complaints from the four cities, the commissioners focused on rewording, like changing "rural" to "scenic," and "designation" to "develop."

Some observers were frustrated.

"It appeared to be an exercise in cut and paste. I didn't see anything of substance (changed)," said Terry Harris, executive director of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance.

But the commissioners insisted the tweaking is necessary.

"We're trying to condense the plan," Currie explained, adding many have worried that it is convoluted and wordy. "At this time, we have not made substantial changes, but we're trying to make it easier to understand."

The commissioners also focused on ranking titles of land designations. Even though the officials had chosen to remove exact acreage designations earlier in the year, Tondee said the officials could still title and list designations, like "scenic" for smallest, to "fringe," for biggest.

"We're not putting numbers in, so we're trying to list them as a reference point, lowest to highest," Tondee said.

The pace was slow, however, raising concerns that the commissioners might not finish deliberations on the document before the end of the year. A big risk, as two of the three commissioners will end their terms the first week of January.

"Is it going to be completed? It's getting pretty tight," said Scott Clark, director of the Planning and Building Department, adding that all decision makers must be present for the signing of the final resolution.

Commissioner Currie isn't worried, he said after the deliberations.

"It will be done," he promised. "We'll work at night, we'll go until whenever it takes."

The commissioners will pick up deliberations on the Land Use chapter at 2 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20.

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