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Nez Perce County Comprehensive Plan


Community Design


The concepts of community design are inclusive of rural and urban community development. They are intended to create, enhance and promote a quality of life of a community. Community design encompasses the overall development pattern of Nez Perce County, creating its visual character.


Nez Perce County's visual character is determined by the natural landscape, the arrangement of structures and land uses on the land, the development of incorporated cities, and the composition of land parcels. Land use regulations such as the Nez Perce County's zoning ordinance and subdivision ordinance have the greatest influence on the visual character of Nez Perce County.

The conversion of existing agricultural and/or forestlands to residential uses has been the most influential type of development in the county. This type of development is anticipated to continue over the next 20 years. This conversion takes place through the subdivision of property. "Subdivision" is the process by which land is divided into smaller parcels or legal units for development or sale, and may include the development of access to such parcels by the construction of roads or streets.

A subdivision usually consists of a number of lots and/or blocks served by a street or network of streets. Subdivisions often provide for the establishment of utility systems, for the supply of water and the disposal of sewage and storm water. Lot sizes may range from 6,000 square feet to a number of acres. In an urban setting, or often time within a city's area of impact, street systems are usually paved, with curbs and gutters as well as sidewalks and street lighting.

In order to encourage the proper development of rural lands, special requirements and procedures should be included in the applicable county ordinances and other implementing measures. This minimum development standard should serve to ensure that new roads meet county minimum standards of grade or construction so they may be dedicated and maintained by the county road department. These standards should also serve to ensure that newly constructed water and sewer systems are adequate for future lot purchasers.

Managed land development through subdivision regulation can be an effective tool in preventing residential sprawl and substandard developments, and in reserving agricultural lands for genuine agricultural production. County land use and subdivision regulations should be written to manage future land development so that it reflects the character of the county desired by its citizens. Cluster type development and planned unit development regulations may be used as effective tools within the county's subdivision and zoning ordinances. These specific regulations, when carefully drafted, can help to ensure that residential and commercial development is designed to complement Nez Perce County's treasured rural character.


Goal Statement:

To maintain Nez Perce County's rural character.


  1. Nez Perce County should encourage the preservation of the county's open space, unusual terrain, and wildlife habitat as a buffer between differing land uses.
  2. Nez Perce County should encourage residential, commercial and industrial subdivision design that retains the rural and natural amenities of the development site.
  3. Nez Perce County should encourage moderate to high-density residential and commercial developments in the urban communities and areas of impact.
  4. Nez Perce County should develop design standards to be included in county land use ordinances.
  5. Nez Perce County should ensure that development on hillsides and along waterways is carefully managed to be visually unobtrusive while addressing the importance of protecting these public resources.
  6. Nez Perce County should encourage the preservation of prime agricultural lands for agricultural production.
  7. Nez Perce County should encourage the re-subdivision of large land tracts within presently developed areas.
  8. Nez Perce County should encourage landscaping in all new developments that will capitalize on trees ability to reduce air and noise pollution; enhance the value of residences, provide wildlife habitat, and reduce energy consumption.

Community Design Strategy Chart


Planning & Building
Office Location
Brammer Building
1225 Idaho Street
Lewiston, ID 83501

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 896
Lewiston, ID 83501



Alison Tompkins

E-mail Alison

Building Official

Kile Allen

E-mail Kile

Senior Customer Service Specialist

Cody Lorentz

E-mail Cody

Planning & Zoning

Commission Chairman

Frank Dillon

Vice Chairman

Shawn Wentworth


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