TWIN FALLS — The county has moved a step closer to releasing an update of its comprehensive plan.
During a meeting on Wednesday, county commissioners and a contractor the county hired to work on the plan presented an overview of what will be included in the final draft of the document when it’s released to the public the first week of March.
A comprehensive plan is a guiding document that cities and counties are required to have in place according to state law. The county began the process of overhauling its plan two years ago. The existing plan hasn’t been updated since 2008 and no longer reflects conditions in the county.
Allison Mouch with Orion Planning and Design, the firm the county hired to work on the update, said the document is guided by core planning principles, such as preserving the rural character of the county, supporting the county’s agriculture base and advancing economic diversity.
The document identifies five different land use designations in the county, as well as details on the existing conditions at the designations and what they could look like in the future. These designations include rangeland and public lands, agriculture, rural residential, unincorporated township and commercial corridor.
The plan also lays out goals for the county to reach, as well as objectives and actions that can be taken to reach these goals.
One of the stated goals listed in materials provided at the meeting is to preserve the rural character of the county. An objective supporting this goal is to “direct development toward areas of the County that has the infrastructure present to serve increased densities.” To complete this objective, the county plans to take action by updating its zoning codes and subdivision regulations.
The county will release the plan for public comment online in early March. Next it’ll go before the Planning and Zoning Commission on March 25 and then to county commissioners for adoption. After its adopted, the county will begin reviewing sections of antiquated county code that need to be updated to reflect the intentions of the plan.