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Still on the table

Jackson County planning board meetings likely will get even more interesting as members move on to the nuts and bolts of a slope ordinance this month.


Some of the things to be decided:

• The density of homes on steep slopes. A sliding scale is proposed — the steeper the slope the less density. Currently, the draft calls for only one house per two acres on slopes greater than 25 percent, all the way up to one house per 10 acres on slopes greater than 40 percent.

• The threshold for when the slope ordinance will kick in. Currently, the draft calls for any subdivision on slopes of 25 percent or more to comply with the slope ordinance. Some on the planning board would like to see that threshold raised so the slope ordinance wouldn’t kick in until slopes were 30 percent.

• Screening of homes. The draft dictates how many trees homeowners can cut from a lot. It requires at least 50 percent of the home to be screened by trees when viewed from a public road below.

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Zac Koenig, planning board member objected to this, citing that the views from a home are one reason people are buying houses here in the first place.

But the view from a house is only good if the mountain you are looking at isn’t marred up, Richard Wilson countered.

“I think we have a responsibility to protect the beauty of the mountains. Even the ones building the houses want the beauty of the mountains to be there and enjoy. If you are looking at a scar, that’s taking away that enjoyment,” said Wilson.

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