Packed In: Rathdrum Mayor, City Council at odds over how to handle growth

RATHDRUM, Idaho — A battle is brewing in Rathdrum between growth or conservation.

The city council believes citizens have elected them on the platform of slowing or even stopping growth.

“The residents of Rathdrum are fearful of losing their small town, atmosphere, way of life,” said councilmember Steven Adams. “They wish for the rapid development to slow down.”

Steven Adams is not anti-growth, rather he wants to curb widespread urbanization.

“So how do you balance that out? Well, you have to find a happy medium to build some houses, but not as many as…it’s going to sad to see a whole prairie turned into a housing tract,” Adams said.

Adams was the only city council member to approve rezoning for a 150-home construction request. Ultimately it was denied.

“I don’t like it. I don’t like the way they designed it,” he said. “I wanted to try to get some things in there because I am just a councilman but legally I couldn’t say no to it.”

There is development that is happening. On April 13, Mayor Vic Holmes broke a 2-2 tie between city council advancing a single-home development project.

“I want to become self-sustaining, which means that we should be able to buy anything we need here in town, and we should be able to be employed here in town and to attract those businesses, you need rooftops,” said Mayor Vic Holmes.

Currently, Rathdrum has 9200 residents and Holmes wants more.

“I think small town and feel, has nothing to do with stay the hell out,” Homes said. “And that’s what the government is being asked to do here, is tell people to stay out.”

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