October 6, 2008

Priest River to Annex Land for Big Project

By Gustafson, Jeanne

The city of Priest River, Idaho, has agreed preliminarily to annex the property for a proposed 800-acre golf-course community to be called The Settlement. The City Council expects legal work on the annexation to be wrapped up within about a month, says Bryan Quayle, a contract land-use planner for the city.

Quayle says North Idaho developer William Radobenko is expected to submit a more detailed proposal for the development soon after the annexation is completed. The property is located about a half- mile east of Priest River's eastern boundary, and initial plans had called for the development to include 500 homes or more and is described by Radobenko in an earlier letter to the city as a golf- course community. The property includes rural and agricultural land on the north side of both U.S. 2 and the Pend Oreille River that historically was known as the Italian Settlement because of the predominantly Italian railroad workers who lived there. A portion of the property has been, most recently, the Kaniksu Stock Ranch.

Radobenko couldn't be reached for comment for this story.

Quayle says more detailed plans will help the city determine what infrastructure improvements it will need to make to its water and wastewater-treatment systems because of the development. Possible improvements could include adding new wells or booster pumps to handle additional demand for both services. Additional tax revenue and hookup fees from a development such as The Settlement could help fund improvements to the city's aging water system, though it also would add more users to the system and increase its expenses, Quayle says.

Bonner County changed the land-use designation of the property in 2005 to resort community from rural, but Radobenko hasn't submitted a planned-unit development application for the project. Quayle says one reason the developer is seeking annexation might be that the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality didn't want the development to establish separate utilities from the city.

Copyright Northwest Business Press Inc. Sep 11, 2008

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