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Bingham County to hear public comment on sweeping new zoning ordinance

On Tuesday, folks in Bingham County braced themselves for a sweeping new county-wide zoning ordinance.

The county’s current ordinance was put in place nearly 30 years ago in 1984, and commissioners said it’s time to bring things up to date.

A public hearing of the new ordinance is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Bingham County Courthouse.

Commissioner Cleone Jolley spent all day Tuesday pouring over the new ordinance.

“I think the big thing is people are afraid we’re trying to control everything that goes on,” said Jolley. “That’s not what we want.”

He said the new ordinance is simply too old to apply to the challenges facing modern day Bingham County.

“If we don’t have an ordinance, you have nothing,” he said. “You have no way to stop anything.”

Jolley said the new ordinance will present guidelines for residential and agricultural subdivisions, and provisions for how to appeal those guidelines. It contains zoning guidelines for energy developments like wind farms, too. Jolley said those kind of things weren’t around when the last ordinance was written in 1984.

“It goes back to the old one about the pig farm next to your nice home, it’s the same thing,” said Jolley. “It would be really nice if we didn’t have to have ordinances, but we do.”

After public comment Tuesday, commissioners will deliberate to decide whether to adopt this draft or work up a new one.

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