County delays growth policy review again
Cascade County will not revise it’s growth policy this year.
The county planning board met last week and Charity Yonker, county planning director, said that she recommended not pursuing any revisions due to the lack of census data and not wanting to start a lengthy public comment period during a pandemic.
In February 2020, the planning board voted to delay a review of the growth policy January 2021 so that’d the census would be complete and the county could gather information from other local entities including the city and Malmstrom Air Force Base.
The county reviewed the growth policy last year as part of the 5-year review required by state law and opted not to make changes.
The growth policy itself requires that the county conduct an annual review of the policy.
Planning Board Member Richard Liebert said during their February 2020 meeting that it was worth reflecting on current realities and address some areas that he believes are missing from the policy, including healthcare and medical marijuana.
Sandor Hopkins, interim county planning director at the time, said it was staff’s opinion that the growth policy didn’t need to be updated at this time and would be better done once they have updated data from the Census.
Malmstrom officials have also been discussing the possibility of updating the 2012 Joint Land Use Study and Hopkins said in February 2020 it would be better to wait until those reviews are completed, which has not yet happened.
The county has since made some changes to the zoning and subdivision regulations.