Commissioners for Orofino Planning and Zoning Department met June 16, to discuss the possibilities for re-zoning the property above the Orofino Elementary School and the new Clearwater Historical Museum to the left of the top of Bartlett Street.

The area is currently zoned R-2, the Single Family Dwelling District, which has historically been used for business activity. Multiple Special Use permits have been approved for this area in the past.

In his report to commissioners, P&Z Administrator, Todd Perry suggested two zones relevant to the area, Mixed Use or Industrial (C-4).

As one travels up Bartlett St. and follows the road just above and left of the new museum, there exists a bench, in which Clearwater Auto Body and a small machine shop used to operate. Both properties are vacant and available at the present time. Further up the road are two houses, the first lies within city limits, the second is actually located in the county. Currently there is a person interested in purchasing the property located within the city who would like to open an aluminum anodizing facility.

Perry noted there were quite a few mixed use zones within the city but only two industrial zones - Debco and a section off of Riverside Avenue owned by the Pippengers.

Commissioners were skeptical of designating the property as an industrial zone, with the consensus that it was too close to the elementary school, and the center of town. Questions were also raised about the potential waste created by certain enterprises.

“There’s a reason we don’t have more industrial space in town, people don’t want to live next to it,” said Commissioner Teena Gortsema. “We are not trying to stop anyone from doing what they want to do, they may still apply for a special use permit, but I think we need to do what’s best for the city and its future growth.”

Commissioners unanimously voted to recommend the Mixed Use zone for the property discussed, and set a date for a public hearing July 21.

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