|2007 landfill amendment on agenda but is hardly mentioned during discussion|
|Written by Dee Holzel|
|Wednesday, April 21 2010 06:14|
WINNEMUCCA — The Humboldt County Commissioners have directed DA Russell Smith to research and draft a proposal for amending the 2007 solid-waste ordinance that allowed for outside-the-district garbage at secondary landfills. He was instructed to proceed per the commission’s discussion on the matter at their Monday (April 19) meeting.
It’s not clear how the DA will respond considering the depth and breadth of the discussion, which covered everything from cutting off the Winnemucca City Council from secondary-landfill discussions to changing the way conditional use permits (CUP) are authorized. It should be noted CUP’s are specific to zoning ordinances, not the 2007 amendment to the solid-waste ordinance referenced on the agenda.
The 2007 amendment was only minimally referenced. However, it appeared the commissioners wanted to piggy-back and/or correct other problematic issues that have surfaced during the process of permitting the proposed Jungo Rd. landfill.
Commissioner Dan Cassinelli made the agenda request and opened the discussion by noting when he made the request it was to put things back to the way they were before the 2007 changes to the solid-waste code.
On reflection he thought it would be important to add something so that in the future CUP’s of significance, such as the proposed Jungo Rd. landfill, would come to the commission first.
There was discussion of having only certain CUP’s come to the commission first, but Smith advised the ordinances could not be written selectively; it was all or nothing. There was also discussion of having the Regional Planning Commission make recommendations concerning CUP’s with the commission having the ultimate authority to grant or not grant.
There were several advantages given to having the commission be the CUP-granting authority. Smith explained the RPC must assist business and industry in obtaining their CUP’s and the conditions contained therein are regulated by statute.
But the commissioners are not bound by these same rules, Smith noted. As an example, the commissioners may add conditions for CUP’s the RPC could not consider.
In addition, changing the CUP ordinance would make the courts the first step in the appeal’s process – not the last.
There were, however, some disadvantages as well – not the least of which are the number of CUP applications the county receives every year. The shift in workload from the RPC to the commissioners would not be insignificant.
Another disadvantage would be that multiple ordinances would have to be changed, which involves multiple steps including public hearings.
There was also some discussion of removing the Winnemucca City Council from decisions involving secondary landfills in the county. Commissioner Tom Fransway initiated that conversation arguing secondary landfills were a county issue not a city issue.
“We need to delete the council from things that are outside of their jurisdiction, respectfully,” Fransway said.
The city and county have worked together on landfill issues due to their partnership on the Regional Landfill.
The DA requested a month to research the issues, which will be presented on May 17.