• Powerhouse Rainbow

    Aaron Qualls

  • Powerhouse Rainbow

    Aaron Qualls

  • Downtown Sandpoint

    Allison Wildman

  • Schweitzer Outback Boal

    Schweitzer Mountain Resort

  • Sand Creek

    Allison Wildman

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Mission Statement

The mission of the City of Sandpoint Planning Department is to enhance the quality of life for present and future generations. We do this by:

  • Providing quality service
  • Encouraging citizen involvement
  • Promoting good planning
  • Implementing our City Code

This is a summary of our mission. Full and complete mission statements are available, just ask us.


The Planning Department consists of two primary components, Long Range Planning and Current Planning.

Long Range Planning

The Long Range Planning Program assists the community in evaluating trends and developing innovative plans in anticipation of changes that may affect the future of the City.  This work includes implementing and updating the primary long-range planning document for the city, the Comprehensive Plan, and developing sub-area or neighborhood plans such as the Area of City Impact and Downtown Development Plans.  In addition, the Planning Department manages and prepares technical studies that augment and enhance the Comprehensive Plan and other planning documents.  Recent examples of supporting technical studies include the Development Impact Fee Program and the Economic Development Opportunities associated with the City–owned Bonner Business Center.

The Long Range Planning Program is also responsible for creating implementing ordinances based on the recommendations described in adopted city plans and technical reports.  Land use ordinances are intended to influence where and how things are built and where and how land is preserved.  The tangible outcome of the regulations is the shaping of the built and natural environment within the city limits – the buildings, parks, city streets, public spaces, etc.  Some recent examples of land use regulations include the comprehensive set of revisions to the Sandpoint zoning regulations governing Commercial, Industrial and Residential areas in town.

Current Planning

The Current Planning Program serves to implement the ordinances and Plans put forward by the Long Range Planning Program through the land use application process, as well as review of building permits for compliance with current zoning regulations.  The Current Planning Staff works with applicants on projects ranging from sign permits to annexations and subdivisions and also staffs the front counter from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. for all land use-related questions from the community.

In many cases, the land use application process begins with a pre-application meeting to identify the feasibility of a project and any specific issues that will need to be addressed.  Once a completed application packet is submitted, Planning Staff distributes the packet to other Departments within the City (Fire, Police, Public Works, etc.)  for their specific requirements on the project as proposed.    Depending on the type of project, this administrative review is either followed by the issuance of a conditional approval letter listing conditions the applicant needs to satisfy in order to obtain the necessary development permits, or with presentation of the project in a public hearing before the City's Planning Commission and/or City Council, who will take public testimony before making a decision on the project.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like more information regarding the application process 208-263-3370.