Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Press: North Idaho Land Use Meeting Shut Down by Boisterous Crowd

Posted By on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 9:09 AM

What began as a public forum on proposed changes to Kootenai County's land use code quickly got out of hand the night of June 17 and was quickly shut down shortly after the meeting got underway.

This morning's Coeur d'Alene Press reports that the Coeur d'Alene Fire Department shut down the meeting when officials informed the Kootenai County Planning Commission that its meeting at the county courthouse was over capacity, thus canceling the meeting.

June 17 was supposed to be the first of four public hearings on the county's proposals to chance land uses, but nearly 300 people wedged into a room that was designed to hold 150.

Shortly after a consultant began explaining the process of the proposed code, shouts erupted from the crowd expressing displeasure that the public wasn't being given an opportunity, early in the minute, to weigh in.

"This is typical," yelled one man, according to the Press. "You are wearing us down with this. First there are no chairs and you aren't going to give us any time to comment."

The meeting was stopped shortly thereafter.

The commission's attorney Pat Braden said he would advise the commission that it extend its comment period, given the June 17 meltdown.

"It's like they are trying to make the county a giant homeowners association," Rick Cramer told the Press. "It sounds like they are trying to mico-manage what people can do with their own property."

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