POST FALLS, Idaho — A public hearing will be held July 25 for a 41-acre annexation request at the northeast corner of Greensferry Road and Prairie Avenue in Post Falls, as reported by our news partners, the Coeur d'Alene Press.
The deadline to submit public comments about the proposed annexation is July 18.
A July 6 city of Post Falls staff report states the Joseph Family Trust Annexation request was submitted by Jeramie Terzulli of Olson Engineering, a Post Falls company, on behalf of the owners, the Orlando-based Joseph Family Trust and Post Falls-based Ashenbrenner Living Trust. The Ashenbrenner Living Trust, of which Donald P. Ashenbrenner and Charlotte Ashenbrenner are trustees, owns 4.5 acres and the rest belongs to the Joseph Family Trust. Husband and wife Phillip and Jane Joseph of Harrison are also named as owners in the development and annexation agreement with the city.
Terzulli would not discuss details of the project when asked by The Press on Tuesday; Terzulli and Olson Engineering wish to reserve any statements until after the public hearing.
According to the Post Falls Future Land Use Map, adopted July 2020, this land is designated as "transitional with commercial node."
"A commercial node is land area or locations that were determined during the creation of the comprehensive plan that would likely be good intersection points along those northern arterials for commercial services to be located in and around," Post Falls community development director Bob Seale explained Tuesday. "Greensferry and Prairie are both large primary roadways. Because of that, it makes sense to be able to put commercial types of uses or higher density uses at those intersections or within those areas."
The annexation request would zone 20.74 acres as Community Commercial Services. This type of zoning includes retail sales or consumer services. It permits a variety of retail, professional or service businesses, including manufacturing, technical or other professional uses. Residential uses may be allowed within this zone at densities permitted by the high-density, multi-family residential zone by special use permit.
"If for any reason they chose to try and wanted to do multi-family on the CCS zone in the future, they would be required to get a special-use permit for that," Seale said. "So that’s a whole other process."
The Joseph Family Trust annexation request would zone the other 20.260 acres as Community Commercial Mixed. This would accommodate commercial and high-density residential development as permitted by high-density, multi-family residential zoning in a mixed-use pattern.
The development and annexation agreement states commercial and industrial uses would be constructed along Prairie Avenue and Greensferry Road with any residential being limited to the interior of the property. Residential use cannot exceed 16.6% of the gross land area of the property.
Seale said the city does not have details about what businesses or entities will specifically go up in that area. He said he can picture something like offices, storage or other low density commercial uses on that property.
"It puts commercial close to people who live up there," he said. "It helps to reduce the amount of traffic that potentially needs to travel across the city for people to have access to those services."
Small, mom-and-pop businesses are also possible for this site.
"They always say rooftops are what businesses are looking for, whether you're talking multi-family unit or single-family unit. They need to support the commercial," Seale said. "We would likely see some smaller, more family-owned type of businesses. That's really common to see in developed towns, whether it's a small town or a large town."
He said what the city doesn't want to see, nor will it see, is giant big-box retailers going up in that area.
An endless sea of houses is also not ideal.
"One thing I don't want to see is nonsensical sprawl where only housing grows and people go farther," he said.
He acknowledged these changes aren't palatable to everyone.
“There's always going to be individuals or groups of individuals that are opposed to the natural progression of development," Seale said. "A big part about development comes down to, 'What’s the market driving?' We have to accept that sometimes. From my planning perspective, sometimes the uses I would like to see go in there, don’t go in there. There’s only so much the market can support."
However, he said, sometimes commercial development waits until the right time and the right developer comes along.
"This one does line up with our comprehensive plan," he said. "The city council and planning and zoning will still have their chance to opine whether they believe it's the right timing, the right mixture of zones. Just from the first glance, it looks like it does meet the future land-use map.”
Public comment can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, through the city's website at www.postfallsidaho.org/your-government/public-hearings/ or in writing to the city of Post Falls Planning Division, 408 Spokane St., Post Falls ID 83854.
The Coeur d'Alene Press is a KREM 2 news partner. For more from our partners, click here.
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