“Who Could Be Your Neighbor”
Comprehensive Plan Overview
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
It is the guide for how lands within the County are managed. The proposed Development Regulations Documents are available for review at the following link. Go down to the bottom of the page and click “Proposed Dev Reg Update 2020” and it will download the documents
How does the plan work?
It reflects community values and vision for the future ▪ accommodates future growth ▪ determines where new housing, shopping, jobs, infrastructure, and industries are located. It also addresses proposed land use maps and zoning changes. These changes could also guide the type of industries allowed in the County.
Why Should Landowners be involved?
Proposed changes could affect tax evaluation and individual property zoning. Even though you may not fully understand the plan, your comments are important as they become public record. If you wish to comment, please send an email stating so to Greg Snow at http://[email protected] to be added to the list.
The County recently posted the Public Participation Plan which can be viewed at this link:
Apparently, the Pend Oreille County Comprehensive Plan is gearing up to change the zoning which would allow the possibility of a smelter to be built above two towns, several schools, churches, hospitals, elderly care facilities, a pristine natural watershed, and a dense, rural residential area on the Idaho-Washington state line. Basically, it is a like blanket zone that will be approved without property owners being aware unless they’ve been paying attention and doing their own research. The land use maps will show these zoning changes when the public can view them. Pend Oreille County landowners should be keeping a close watch on this zone change as it will affect their property. Public notifications aren’t a requirement for this to happen and County commissioners have the final say to make these changes.
The PacWest/ HiTest + Comprehensive Plan Context
PacWest, also known as HiTest, have been patiently waiting for the Pend Oreille County Commissioners to fulfill their promise to open doors and pave the way for the smelter. All on property they purchased knowing it wasn’t zoned correctly for their purpose of building a smelter. The land where the proposed smelter would be located is currently zoned Public Lands and industrial uses are not permitted on Public Lands. If they succeed in getting the property they own zoned for industrial use, it will be too late for any chance to stop it. We cannot allow this to happen, the zoning has always been the key to paving the way for the smelter.
There is strong community opposition to the smelter. Currently, PacWest has not filed for any permits; they have no official office in the community, and they haven’t addressed public concerns. The fear of the potential pollution from the smelter has held us hostage in our own home for too long. People are forced to live under the threat of ‘IF’ a smelter is built, they would have to move for their health’s sake and the health of their family. Some have already thrown in the towel, sold their homes and moved on. This area is not suitable for heavy industry. We live here for the rural way of life, the agricultural and recreational benefits. The Clean Air Act set a maximum limit allowed in emissions. We have a ton of room under that limit.
PacWest seemed to expect us to just get out of the way and hand them the keys to our backyard. To allow them to pollute at their convenience because they do not want a smelter in their own back yard in Canada. From the beginning, PacWest did not follow protocol or go through the proper channels and the County allowed that to happen.
CANSS isn’t against growth and potential jobs for the community. We encourage it, but it can’t be detrimental to the populace, or the environment. There are much better ways and locations to provide the much-needed jobs, tax revenue and all the positives the supporters of the smelter tout.
CANSS defined mission is to stop the silicon smelter. We will do everything legally within our means to accomplish this. Through the generosity of donations, we have retained Norm Semanko for legal counsel. He’s specified the number one battle is the re-zoning issue from the beginning and it’s still our focus. That is why the Pend Oreille County Comprehensive Plan is so important. It will affect not only us in Pend Oreille County and Bonner County, but in Kootenai County, Boundary County, Spokane County and all the way to Montana. The smelter is estimated to have a negative effect within a radius of 165 miles. Our lakes, our gardens, our health, our wildlife, our forests, will all be adversely affected by the pollution.
They have insulted us and held us hostage with the threat of a smelter long enough. The time to speak out is right now. Send your comments to [email protected] or mail a letter to 231 Garden Ave, Newport, WA 99156. Attn: Greg Snow. Comments and emails become part of the record. Even if you are not a Pend Oreille County resident, you can voice your concerns because if the smelter is allowed to be put on the Idaho-Washington state line, the pollution will go where the wind blows.
Tell your neighbor. Tell your cousin. Tell your mailman, tell everyone. It’s time to make a stand against a foreign corporation ruining our pristine area.
CANSS remains committed and stands ready with our attorney, Norm Semanko, to meet the zoning challenge ahead! Stay Strong! No Newport Smelter!