Comprehensive Plan

The full printable version of the Caribou County Comprehensive Plan can be viewed here in pdf format.


Element No. One ................................. ….. Population
Element No. Two ................................ …….. Land Use
Element No Three ............................... ……. Transportation
Element No. Four. .................................. …. Community Design and Special Sites
Element No. Five .............................. ……… Economic Development
Element No. Six ............................. ……….. Natural Resources
Element No. Seven ................................ …. Public Services, Facilities and Utilities
Element No. Eight.. ......................... ………. Recreation
Element No. Nine ............................... ……. Schools, Facilities and Transportation
Element No. Ten .................................. …… Hazardous Areas
Element No. Eleven ............................... …. Housing
Element No. Twelve ............................. …… Private Property Rights
Element No. Thirteen .......... ………………… Implementation

Goal: A general statement to project the desired end result of each element of this comprehensive plan.

Policy: A general principle to guide and manage the thirteen elements of this comprehensive plan.2006 COMPREHENSIVE PLAN CARIBOU COUNTY


1.1 Goal: Encourage infill of existing city limits and impact areas rather than expansion into the rural areas to accommodate growth in the near future. This will decrease the need for long, expensive utility extensions that serve only a few and create a greater sense of cohesiveness in the communities.
1.2 Goal: Work with SICOG and other organizations in the maintenance of population related data in order to predict where and when public services will need to be extended.
1.3 Goal: it is crucial to the entire county community that infrastructure be in place to support an economy driven increase in population. It is probable that business and residential population will increase simultaneously, therefore there should not only be housing infrastructure in place, but industrial and commercial areas should be well defined in County zoning ordinances and utility extensions {or ease or access to them) should be in place.
1.1.1 Policy: Accommodate growth in the Caribou County community by being prepared to provide services that will meet the service and economic needs of all residents and businesses.
1.1.2 Policy: Development that occurs outside an Area of City !mpact shall comply with this Comprehensive Plan.
1.1.3 Policy: Encourage development of industries that will hire from the local labor Force.
1.1.4 Policy: Ensure adequate zoning ordinances are in place to maintain order in business expansion that impacts residential life as little as possible and direct land uses to areas where they are planned .
1.1.5 Policy: Develop zones and keep updated an official zoning map to simplify enforcement of the zoning ordinance and provide even, fair, and proper development density in the appropriate areas of the County.
1.1.6 Policy: Develop provisions which will allow areas for residential development like pivot corners and other small pieces of property disconnected by roadways, canals, railways or other permanent landmarks.
1.1.7 Policy: Provide publication to outsiders and others concerning development, zoning and availability of services.


2.1 Goal: Maintain positive relationships with all public lands entities and private owners for continuation of accessibility to popular recreation areas wherever possible. Encourage citizens to be involved in management decisions on public lands in the county
2.2 Goal: Review and confirm area of impact agreements which exist between cities and the County, making sure both parties agree on jurisdiction and rights each possesses in making development decisions within the impact zone.
2.3 Goal: Encourage rural· residential cluster developments outside incorporated city's limits that will encourage self-sustaining communities that may provide public utility (water and sewer systems) and promote ease of access to improved road ways.
2.4 Goal: Develop zoning guidelines for defining development of rural residential and rural recreational properties as loosely described in this section of the plan.
2.5 Goal: Protect the agricultural life style. Public utilities costs are decreased and public safety is increased by this approach to clustering and consolidation of populations.
2.6 Goal: Promote development of industrial parks, especially near appropriate areas that can easily serve industry needs.
2.1.1 Policy: Ensure the integrity of the counties open space and scenic beauty. Infill of existing municipalities should be encouraged by containing development within areas where utilities and transportation networks are already in existence.
2.1.2 Policy: Develop and impose off site improvement requirements when necessary.
2.1.3 Policy: Meet zone creation requirements to define land uses in allowable zones.
2.1.4 Policy: Work with the incorporated cities to define allowable uses in impact areas.
2.1.5 Policy: Develop a procedure for rezoning of existing developed area to increase tax base to support additional services.
2.1.6 Policy: Develop an overlay map to designate migratory' areas and routes, feed grounds, wildlife winter range, historic areas, special sites and other areas where development would be planned to accommodate these uses.
2.1.7 Policy: Require subdivisions to create Or obtain restrictive covenants to aid in the control of weeds, condition of buildings, junk and other items that impact subdivision appearance.
2.1.8 Policy: Develop a zone or area where junk yards are allowed and adopt a junk ordinance.


3.1 Goal: Develop a well planned transportation System that is adequate to meet citizen needs. Transportation facilities designed and located for safe, efficient movement of people and goods must accompany all residential, commercial, and industrial and public development.
3.2 Goal: Work with adjoining counties for fair and equitable placement and maintenance of developments and roadways. Work with adjoining counties to improve minor roads connecting Caribou County to other Counties.
3.1.1 Policy: Work with the Idaho Department of Transportation on improving transportation routes through the county.
3.1.2 Policy: Ensure that development, especially that occurring on the fringes of existing city limits, contains an appropriate integrated system of streets and pedestrian accommodations, contains roads built to meet minimal, uniform standards set by the Planning Commission and paying attention to rights-of-way, roadway width, design, speed and maximum grades.
3.1.3 Policy: Develop policies for new roads in subdivisions as well as off site improvements for residential, industrial and commercial developments.
3.1.4 Policy: Develop an access control policy to designate access onto County roads that promotes safety and traffic flow.
3.1.5 Policy: Establish a means by which to control year around dwellings being built on non winter maintained roads .


4.1 Goal: Preserve and enhance the existing character that defines the entire Caribou County Community.
4.1.1 Policy: integrate the following items of community design aspect of comprehensive plan utilization so as to maximize expenditures in development of each.

a) Economic Development
b) Transportation
c) Recreation
d) Historic site preservation and tourism development

4.1.2 Policy: Continue to work with state and federal historical organizations in a formal effort to preserve Caribou County history"" Support the established Historic Preservation Commission.
4.1.3 Policy: Continue beautification efforts particularly along the major highways and entry Ways into the County.
4.1.4 Policy: Continue to improve tourist attractions and promote those features to attract more tourists to the area.
4.1.5 Policy: Encourage more tree planting in our communities and develop standards for landscaping for commercial and industrial developments.
4.1.6 Policy: Encourage revitalization of buildings in county commercial areas.
4.1.7 Policy: Develop standards for buffering between land uses, lighting, signing
4.1.8 Policy: Identify areas in the county that would encourage the preservation of history through the creation of historic districts, including the Chesterfield area, and research funding opportunities.
4.1.9 Policy: Develop requirements for the proper maintenance of property to meet health and safety
concerns and regulations.


5.1 Goal: Involve small communities and cities to diversify and expand the Caribou County economy.
5.1.1 Policy: Employ business expansion and retention efforts throughout the region
5.1.2 Policy: Work toward diversification of the existing economy through marketing and small business assistance programs
5.1.3 Policy: Promote local industrial parks and ensure that they are ready to receive tenants. Place information pertaining to code enforcement, building permit information and workforce and population
5.1.4 Policy: Further the development of existing tourist activities and development of businesses that naturally follow those activities, like campgrounds, RV parks, outfitting and guiding, restaurants and specialty retail establishments.
5.1.5 Policy: Coordinate with all municipalities and communities within Caribou County for development of a tourism network that is easy to follow and stay on throughout the county, leading visitors from one site to the next.
5.1.6 Policy: Protect natural resources critical to the continuation of such activities.
5.1.7 Policy: Diversify the economy not only to lessen the wage gap, but also to provide a wider variety of employment opportunities for young adults especially those just out of high school which would increase the number of young families permanently settling in the community.
5.1.8 Policy: Promote job opportunities for 18 and 24 year olds to keep them in the county.
5.1.9 Policy: Conduct fundraising and endowment funds for special projects in the county that will improve economics or tourism, including beautification of entryways into communities.
5.1.10 Policy: Continue to improve infrastructure capacity in the Cities and County
5.1.11 Policy: Promote Caribou County by identifying and working with investors to provide building space for new business.
5.1.12 Policy: Work with existing business to improve retention.
5.1.13 Policy: Promote industrial park expansion.
5.1.14 Policy Promote an economic development effort to diversify agricultural opportunities to assist in retaining both small and large farms in the county


6.1 Goal: Utilize the many natural resources the county has to offer, especially as it will encourage growth in the economy, while protecting and preserving the rugged qualities inherent to the region.
6.2 Goal: Encourage development of overnight accommodations for visitors to the area including camping sites and picnic areas, overnight restroom facilities (toilets, sinks and showers), RV pads and dump stations.
6.3 Goal: Develop a map of the recreational opportunities in the area.
6.4 Goal: Conduct activities to encourage use of recreational resources in Caribou County.
6.1.1 Policy: Ensure sustainable use of all natural areas so as not to degrade the environmental qualities that make the area so appealing. Discourage use in fragile areas. Encourage and recruit entrepreneurs for development of guide businesses to create less stress on the environment rather than self-guided expeditions.
6.1.2 Policy: Utilize State guidelines and Best Management Practices as set by governing State and Federal agencies in the rehabilitation of mining and logging areas.
6.1.3 Policy: Utilize Best Management Practices as set by State or Federal agencies in grazing of lands for protection of habitat and water resources, both surface and well head.
6.1.4 Policy: Encourage the protection of habitat and wildlife migration areas by identifying these and encourage that they remain as open space.
6.1.5 Policy: Develop a overlay map of mining areas, current and future. Utilize this overlay map in the zoning process to discourage incompatible development of these areas.
6.1.6 Policy: Encourage citizens and elected officials to become involved in the management of the federal and state public lands.


7.1 Goal: Provide community services and facilities in an efficient and equitable manner according to the county's needs and the ability to finance those needs.
7.2 Goal: Investigate the practicality of establishing sewer systems in areas of the county which become densely populated in compliance with the standard set by Health Department officials.
7.1.1 Policy: Continue to monitor the effectiveness of protection service providers (law enforcement and fire department) and increase services as needed proportionate to population growth needs to ensure residents safety.
7.1.2 Policy: Maintain the landfill to code for continued service to the county residents.
7.1.3 Policy: Encourage a county wide ground water study, working with ail agencies to collect information and determine future actions to protect this resource. Develop a wellhead protection policy as part of this study.
7.1.4 Policy: Coordinate the use and placement of utility easements and rights-of-way and encourage multiple and coordinated use of these.
7.1.5 Policy: Manage urban/rural/wild land interface development.
7.1.6 Policy: Increase the use of life and safety codes throughout the County.
7.1.7 Policy: Support the communities in the county in their development efforts.
7.1.8 Policy: Provide mutual aid agreements with adjoining counties and Wyoming.


8.1 Goal: Enhance accessibility to the many recreation sites in the area and promote them as both short and long term attractions. Provide balanced recreational opportunities to citizens and tourists alike.
8.2 Goal: Develop recreation areas in the county for both local residents and people traveling through the area
8.3 Goal: Develop private RV parks and camping sites with dump stations, electric hookups and restroom facilities to encourage more tourism opportunities.
8.4 Goal: Work with federal and State agencies in improving roadways leading to recreation areas.
8.5 Goal: Continue to increase the number of traveler information signs on both interstate and highways directing travelers to points of interest (especially Oregon Trail sites) develop more historic sites and awareness, implement Oregon Trail, scenic and pioneer historic corridor plans.
8.1.1 Policy: Promote county events throughout the region
8.1.2 Policy: Encourage county and city parks and recreation departments and local school districts to work together in program development and coordination so as not to compete with one another or overlap expenditures.
8.1.3 Policy: Keep access open to public lands through both public and private lands, but not at the expense of the private property owners. Accomplish this through formal access agreements and other tools ..
8.1.4 Policy: Work with federal areas and state lands to maintain diversity of use. Get citizens and local governments involved in the Caribou National Forest Management Plan and federal management activities.
8.1.5 Policy: Promote increased tourism and the improvements of local services to tourists to encourage them to spend their dollars in Caribou County and not elsewhere.
8.1.6 Policy: Encourage more trail improvements (grooming/warming huts). Sustain a mix of summer and winter recreational opportunities.
8.1.7 Policy: Support the communities in the county in their recreational development.
8.1.8 Policy: Develop and promote a bike plan linking recreational facilities to subdivisions and other areas in the county where possible.
8.1.9 Policy: Maintain standards for construction of RV parks.


9.1 Goal: Provide learning environments for Caribou County children that facilitate positive and effective educational experiences and curriculum performance standards.
9.1.1 Policy: The county shall maintain positive and accessible relationships with all school districts and work with each of them in meeting the needs of the county's children.
9.1.2 Policy: Use all the county's ability to give children opportunities they may not otherwise have.
9.1.3 Policy: Ensure safe routes to and from schools and facilities for automobile; pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
9.1.4 Policy: forward copies of development plans and applications to school boards for their review and comment.
9.1.5 Policy: Work with Idaho State University to increase distance learning opportunities to Caribou County residents.
9.1.6 Policy: Work with Idaho State University in providing transportation opportunities to and from Pocatello as demand dictates.
9.1.7 Policy: Incorporate school master plan goals as applicable.
9.1.8 Policy: work towards an equitable statewide solution for districts in border counties paying out-of-state tuition tor students attending schools out of state.
9.1.9 Policy. Promote efforts between industry and education to provide for industrial needs as well as encouraging the youth to remain in the community after high school

10.1 Goal: Appropriately identify, secure or eliminate hazardous locations to prevent the loss of life and/or property resulting from known natural and/or man-made hazards.
10.2 Goal Maintain the continued identification and rehabilitation of property in need of cleanup. Develop and adopt a junk ordinance.
10.1.1 Policy: Work with local agencies (Natural Resource Conservation Service. Southeastern District Health Department) in monitoring leach of materials out of capped landfills.
10.1.2 Policy: Encourage the U.S. forest Service and other entities involved in recreation throughout the County to provide appropriate educational measures of potential hazards to users.
10.1.3 Policy: Develop an overlay map of areas of hazard concern, both man-made and natural. Utilize this overlay map in the zoning process to discourage incompatible development from these areas.
10.1.4 Policy: Continue to cooperate with mining and manufacturing industry in the county to ensure safety.
10.1.5 Policy: Maintain reciprocal and/or mutual aid agreements with all municipalities in Caribou County.
10.1.6 Policy: Improve mutual! aid agreements with ail outside jurisdictions, including those in Wyoming.

11.1 Goal: Develop areas outside existing municipalities to protect the Scenic beauty and open spaces of the community while providing an extremely rural existence for those who choose it.
11.1.1 Policy: Set minimum lot sizes to provide for orderly development in the rural areas of the county.
11.1.2 Policy: Encourage the legislature to look at a more equitable property assessment and tax system as it applies to recreational vacation homes and the impact they have on surrounding, year around residences.
11.1.3 Policy: Maintain positive working relationships with large manufacturers in the area so that impacts they might have on the economy may be planned for.
11.1.4 Policy: Provide incentives to manufacturers that would allow them to operate as usual without decreasing their workforce during difficult financial periods.
11.1.5 Policy: Ensure infrastructure is in place to support business expansion and residential Expansion.
11.1.6 Policy: Enforce the County Subdivision Ordinance and encourage existing subdivisions to bring their public infrastructure up to code.
11.1.7 Policy: Encourage the placement of subdivisions in area of impact and cities where they have access to public services, roads and do not significantly or adversely impact existing surrounding uses.
11.1.8 Policy: Encourage compliance with the Fair Housing act ensuring that all citizens of the county have access to affordable housing without discrimination.
11.1.9 Policy: Develop a policy to keep mobile homes (as defined by the Idaho Manufactured Housing Standard) in mobile home parks
11.1.10 Policy: Enforce the adopted International Residential Code for new construction of one and two family dwellings constructed in the county.


12.1 Goa!: Promote and encourage quality development that protects and respects private property rights.
12.1.1 Policy: Protect, enhance and ensure private property values and rights within the accepted confines of national, state and local laws.
12.1.2 Policy: Review ail land use decisions, policies, procedures and ordinances in light of the Count-is private property rights goals.
12.1.3 Policy: Adopt the Attorney General's checklist, answering the six questions stated below to ensure that all actions concerning private property are within the confines of the law.

  1. Does the regulation or action result in the permanent or temporary physical occupation of the property?
  2. Does the regulation or action require a property owner to dedicate a portion of property or grant easement?
  3. Does the regulation deprive the owner of all economically viable uses of the property?
  4. Does the regulation have a significant impact on the landowner's economic interest?
  5. Does the regulation deny a fundamental attribute of ownership?
  6. Does the regulation serve the same purpose that would be served by directly prohibiting the use or action and does the condition impose substantially advance the purpose?
12.1.4 Policy: Reconsider any action being taken if any answer to any question stated above is answered in the affirmative.
12.1.5 Policy: Review each new proposed use carefully for its potential impact on current uses and that any potentially negative impact should be mitigated.
12.1.6 Policy: Enforce the "Right to Farm" laws as stated in Idaho Code Title 22 Chapter 45 and encourage protection of agriculture.


13.1 Goal: Execute this Comprehensive Plan as a vita! working document as it guides future growth of the Caribou County Community.
13.1.1 Policy: Encourage infill of existing city limits and areas of impact effort to minimize the cost of providing services and for the maintenance of large tracts of open space throughout the County.
13.1.2 Policy: Work with the Idaho Department of Transportation in improving safety and flow rates through the county.
13.1.3 Policy: Continue to work with state and federal historical organizations in having special sights recognized.
13.1.4 Policy: 'Work toward diversification or the existing economy and an increase in services.
13.1.5 Policy: Promote the development of countywide tourist activities and development of associated businesses.
13.1.6 Policy: Continue to monitor the adequacy of protection services and increase their numbers as population growth demands.
13.1.7 Policy: Develop road and transportation standards.
13.1.8 Policy: Develop overlay maps for such things as hazardous areas, mining expansion, wildlife areas and other areas of concern.
13.1.9 Policy: Continue to implement a historical highway route through the county in conjunction with municipalities.
13.1.10 Policy: Encourage public involvement in planning the management of federal lands.
13.1.11 Policy: Maintain accessible relationships between local government and school districts to meet the needs of children.
13.1.12 Policy: Maintain reciprocal agreements between the county, cities and industries in the county for disaster assistance.
13.1.13 Policy: Review and update the comprehensive plan every 5 years
Recommended for adoption by Planning and Zoning Commission