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Noble v. Kootenai County

April 1, 2010

JOHN NOBLE, AN INDIVIDUAL, AND CEDAR RIDGE HOMES, INC., AN IDAHO CORPORATION, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
KOOTENAI COUNTY, A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ACTING THROUGH THE KOOTENAI COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, ELMER R. (RICK) CURRIE, W. TODD TONDEE, AND RICHARD A. PIAZZA, COMMISSIONERS IN THEIR OFFICIAL CAPACITIES, DEFENDANTS-RESPONDENTS.



Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. John P. Luster, District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burdick, Justice

2010 Opinion No. 39

District court decision affirming Kootenai County Board of Commissioners, affirmed.

Appellants, John Noble and Cedar Ridge Homes, Inc. (collectively "Applicants"), appeal the district court‟s decision affirming the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners‟ (the Board) denial of Applicants‟ application for a residential subdivision. We affirm.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Applicants own approximately 152 acres of real property, zoned Rural, in Kootenai County, Idaho, and filed an application for a major subdivision on February 8, 2006. The proposed subdivision was to contain 20 lots, ranging between 5 and 10 acres per lot, and a dedicated no-build area in the 70 acre area known as "the meadow." The meadow is known to be a non-jurisdictional*fn1 wetland subject to frequent flooding.

After an initial public hearing on Applicants‟ proposed subdivision on January 18, 2007, the Hearing Examiner recommended approval of the application, subject to conditions, on January 31, 2007. The Board then conducted a second public hearing on April 12, 2007, and visited the site of the proposed subdivision on May 22, 2007. On June 21, 2007, the Board issued a written order denying the application for subdivision, based upon Applicants‟ failure to provide "Base Flood Elevation" information with respect to the proposed subdivision. Applicants filed a timely Petition for Judicial Review of the Board‟s decision on July 19, 2007.

Following a hearing on January 3, 2008, the district court entered its Memorandum Opinion and Order in Re: Petition for Judicial Review on February 7, 2008, affirming the Board‟s denial of the subdivision application. On April 7, 2008, Applicants filed a timely Notice of Appeal with this Court.

II. ISSUES ON APPEAL

1. Whether the Board based its denial of Applicants‟ subdivision application upon substantial and competent evidence.

2. Whether the Board‟s visit to the site of the proposed subdivision was conducted in violation of Idaho‟s open meeting laws.

3. Whether Applicants‟ substantial rights were prejudiced by the Board‟s rejection of Applicants‟ subdivision application.

4. Whether Applicants are entitled to attorney ...


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