Progress continues in Oldtown

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(Photo by JUDD WILSON) City planner Bryan Quayle pointed out plats for future commercial development at the Oldtown city council meeting Jan. 8.

OLDTOWN — In a short meeting here Jan. 8, Oldtown city planner Bryan Quayle briefed city council members on progress in commercial developments.

Quayle said the city has submitted applications to the Idaho Transportation Department to change Tank Road up to the second gate to a public road. Beyond that it will still be a district use road, said Quayle. It won’t be public or private road until subdivision time, he said. “To me, it would need to be a loop development. At the moment, no one is talking about residential development with me.”

The three-phase commercial development near Tank Road is required to be platted into a subdivision so additional lots can be established for businesses, said Quayle. “It’s in everybody’s economic interests to do it now because of price increases. This will open up a selection of commercial properties rather than just a few at a time,” he explained. He said the parties are close to agreeing on the plats.

“We’re in the best shape that we’ve been in in a while. Phase two will not go the way phase one went. We are already light years ahead of that.”

Quayle said that he’s been in contact with the Burger King corporation. Tentative plans are to start demolition in February if weather cooperates, giving the company a good construction window to build and get the new fast-food restaurant ready for operations, he said.

Quayle said he’d gotten many calls from people interested in the multifamily zoned property east off of Montana Avenue. In fact, he said he’d received more calls in the last two months than in the rest of the previous year. Quayle said there are no less than five parties interested in buying it. Some of the people have inquired not only about multifamily housing but also about tiny homes. The county will hold a meeting later this week which will cover tiny homes, he said. Oldtown’s regulations are not specific to tiny homes but they do cover them, he added.

Mayor Lonnie Orr said that meeting would be prelude to a planned Jan. 22 meeting of county commissioners, mayors, and the county planning department. Orr said he anticipated the Jan. 22 meeting would renew discussions on city areas of impact. Quayle opined that the county doesn’t want to take care of urban-type areas and may move to larger zoning rather than suburban zoning. Orr said he suspected the topic of annexation would be raised.

City council members voted unanimously to grant business licenses to Tri-Pro Forest Products, Copper Bay Construction, and Northern Star Plumbing.

City clerk Alicia Ehrmantrout said Mayor Lonnie Orr sent packets of letters to Sen. Shawn Keough, Rep. Heather Scott, Gov. Butch Otter, and the U.S. Forest Service at Priest Lake. Residents had submitted letters regarding the proposed HiTest Sand silicon smelter to city hall here.

The next Oldtown city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m.

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