Short declines ZBOA appointment, creating a new vacancy

A vacancy remains on the Cascade County Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Trent Short was appointed to the ZBOA during the Jan. 9 County Commission meeting.

County Commission makes appointments to zoning, planning boards

On Friday, Jan. 12, the commission was notified that Short had declined the appointment.

Commissioners made the appointment with the understanding that Short had made no public comment or otherwise expressed any opinion publicly, which includes social media, related to the proposed Madison Food Park.

According to an email from Carey Ann Haight, chief of the civil division in the County Attorney’s office, the commission was notified on Jan. 12 that evidence exists that Short had expressed a public opinion and in a phone conversation Short acknowleged having participated in public discussions and offering opinions about the MFP in August 2017.

In a phone conversation, Short agreed to voluntarily declined the ZBOA appointment.

The county will re-advertise the ZBOA in the coming weeks, Haight said.

County board appointments coming next week, including planning, zoning

Charles Kuether was also appointed to the five-member board during the Jan. 9 meeting. He previously served on the county’s planning board and the commissioners expressed a desire to appoint members familiar with the zoning and planning processes and regulations.

The ZBOA has “exclusive power and authority to independently hear and decide zoning appeals and applications for zoning variances and special exceptions,” according to state law.

“The commissioners have asked the County Attorney’s Office to develop application criteria so to avoid unqualified applicants from applying,” said Commissioner Jane Weber.

An example of the commissions criteria is that Commissioner Joe Briggs and Jim Larson believe ZBOA members should be resident freeholders in the county’s zoning jurisdiction, which is outside the city limits. According to the county release, this requirement will likely be one of the required criteria for consideration.

Once the criteria are finalized, the county will advertise that it’s accepting applications for the one vacancy on the ZBOA and set the application deadline. The commission will consider those applicants and make an appointment in a public meeting.