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Bingham Co. passes new zoning ordinance

Bingham County has a new zoning ordinance.

Commissioners approved it Tuesday afternoon in front of a packed room.

This is the first zoning overhaul since 1984 and it didn’t come without complaints.

County commissioners discussed the new ordinance for about 30 minutes.

They asked planning and zoning officers a few questions and then approved it.

Most of the leg work had already been done months and even years before Tuesday.

Some people didn’t appear to be too happy about.

The new ordinance has been in the works for more than a decade.

According to Chairman Cleone Jolley, it has new provisions for wind power setbacks not even touched on in the previous plan.

“Nobody even thought about windmills then, so that’s a new chapter,” said Jolley.

Because of that lack of forethought, Jolley and the two other commissioners wanted to plan ahead as much as they can this time.

“They have to have a special use permit and consent from all the property owners that the line is going across,” said Jolley.

They’ve put in provisions for radiological waste and transmission lines, even though it’s not a current issue.

“They could come in closer to us and that’s not what we want. We want to set an area that is out away from everybody,” said Jolley.

Longtime Blackfoot local Lona Murdock said the ordinance is part of a dictatorship.

“It just takes away our rights. It really does,” said Murdock.

After nine public hearings and at least a dozen drafts, Jolley said the ordinance is less restrictive than the first one.

“We’ve listened to what people have said,” said Jolley.

For those people who don’t like the ordinance, it would have to be appealed legally in district court.

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