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Environmental Health & Assessments

Environmental Planning:
To insure that public health issues are adequately considered in land use planning decisions.

Program Information:

Services provided:

  • Review proposed residential and commercial developments submitted to the City/County Development Office.
  • Consult with developers and interested citizens about environmental and health related impacts of development proposals.
  • Testify at The Planning Commission, City Council and Board of Commissioner land use hearings about the public health aspects of development proposals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does the Department of Health and Environment review all land use proposals?
    The Department reviews all land use proposals submitted to the County Planning Department, and selected proposals in those cities that request review.
  2. As a concerned neighbor, can I get a copy of the Department's report on a land use proposal?
    Yes, reports prepared by the Department's Environmental Planner are public record. Please call Doug Ryan and 498-6777 if you would like to obtain a report on a specific development proposal.
  3. What are the specific topics that are considered by the Environmental Planner in reviewing development proposals?
    The list of topics varies according to the type of development that is proposed. In most cases the provision of water and sewer, and air and water pollution impacts are important issues. In some cases other subjects such as noise levels, affects of power lines, horse pasture management, agricultural impacts, prairie dogs or waste disposal are included in the review.
  4. What kind of information needs to be considered in planning a new residential subdivision that will use septic systems for sewage disposal?
    Site conditions that affect the operation of septic systems include the type of soils that are present, the depth to the groundwater table, the depth to bedrock and the presence of surface water such as lakes or irrigation ditches. With a thorough knowledge of site conditions, subdivisions can be designed to take advantage of the best soils for treating sewage while avoiding problem conditions such as high groundwater or irrigation ditches. Some of the options used in the subdivision design process include clustering, variations in lot size, and creation of open space in areas not suitable for septic systems.

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