CALDWELL — Caldwell’s Planning and Zoning commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to deny a special use permit for the proposed Canyon County jail expansion.
Commissioners denied the permit on the grounds the permit doesn’t fit in with the department’s comprehensive plan.
“Speaking to the land use, it doesn’t seem like a good fit for the neighborhood,” said Commissioner Roger Page.
Russell Moorhead, with LCA Architects (the firm designing the jail expansion) spoke on behalf of the county. He was the only individual who spoke in favor of the jail expansion project during the public hearing.
Half a dozen people signed up to testify against the project, including Canyon County Clerk Chris Yamamoto. Commissioner Tom Dale and Commissioner-elect Pam White also testified in opposition.
Dale and White said that when White is elected to office in January, they will vote as a majority to halt the expansion project.
“I do not support the addition to the current facility,” White said. “I am going to let you know that every ounce of me will vote against this project.”
White also stressed the issue of parking in her testimony. She said with the new expansion, parking would be inadequate.
Brian Billingsley, who is the Planning and Zoning Department director, said the decision could be appealed by the applicant before the Caldwell City Council.
Billingsley said if an appeal were to be received, it would take around 15 days to draft up the appeal documentation to be presented to the council.
The Press-Tribune asked Canyon County Commissioner Steve Rule if he plans to pursue an appeal. He said he plans to meet with the other commissioners to make a decision on that part of the process.