County denies RSID request for road maintenance

County Commissioners unanimously voted to deny a request for a rural special improvement district for the maintenance of a proposed access road off Vaughn Road at the I-15 interchange.

Michael Maeder asked for the RSID for the maintenance of Independence Way, a proposed access road, in his proposed development and for the maintenance of culverts, drainage ditches, detention pond, weed control, street signs and mailboxes along the proposed road.

Independence Way would allow access to three lots in Maeder’s proposed subdivision and would connect with Vaughn Road, be about 662 feet long with gravel and end in a cul-de-sac, according to the county.

The maintenance of the road as associated 9items is estimated at $1,290 annually.

Commissioners said there wasn’t enough of a plan for the proposed subdivision at this time to necessitate the RSID for the road.

Les Payne, county public works director, said in a memo to commissioners that his department opposed the RSID.

The county public works department maintains more than 1,400 miles of roads and the RSID would increase the department’s territory.

“We, Cascade County Public Works would raise the concern of the additional direct costs to the county. The county road department would likely be tasked with maintaining the proposed RSDI roadways. This would include but not be limited to surface maintenance, snow plowing. drainage maintenance, and weed control. Public Works currently is not able to maintain all the current county roads within Cascade County and is opposed to adding any additional roadways,” Payne wrote to commissioners.

The county can establish RSIDs for which the cost of public improvements would be assessed to the taxpayers, in this case, the three parcels served by Independence Way.

The proposed Independence Way is part of a subdivision proposal that has not yet gone to final plat, not meeting the 5-year threshold for dedication and acceptance, and benefits only the developer at this time  according to the county staff report

The proposed road is a dead-end road serving three lots, one of which is residential and the other two are proposed to be rezoned to light industrial. The road wouldn’t increase connectivity with the existing road network and would only benefit the subdivision.

Commissioners recommended that Maeder consider other mechanisms to fund the road maintenance such as a homeowners association.

Maeder said he didn’t think the commission was being business friendly and that he had interest from other businesses for the development as well as rural fire departments.

He said it felt like “government putting roadblocks in front of me instead of helping me.”

Commissioner Jim Larson said he was concerned about the cul-del-sac limiting emergency access and denied it for that reason.

Commissioner Joe Briggs the subdivision plan was incomplete and told Maeder, “you’ve got the cart before the horse. We need a planned subdivision before we approve an RSID.”

Briggs said he was bothered by being called anti-business, but “we expect complete plans. This is simply not ready to move forward.”