Hayden Lake

City By The Lake
Photo montage: a girl looking a flowers, an iron park bench amid fallen autumn leaves, a family holding hands and walking in a park, and a dim sunset

Hayden Lake Comprehensive Plan


Kootenai County, Idaho



ADOPTED – February 2nd - 2009


Page (s)

Comprehensive Plan
Hayden Lake City Council
Comprehensive Plan: Its Function

II. Goals and Policies

Land Use
Natural Resource
Hazardous Areas
Population and Housing
Public Services, Facilities and Utilities
Water Quality
Components of Special Concern
Natural Resources

III. Implementation

IV. History and Authority

Legal Authority for Plan
Planning Area

Land Use Map--Exhibit “A”


The City of Hayden Lake Comprehensive Plan was prepared by:

Hayden Lake City Council:

Nancy Morris, Mayor
Tom Gorman
Chris Beck
Bob Grant
Todd Walker

Ad Hoc Planning Committee:

Chris Beck, Chairman
Bob Troiano
Mercile Goes
Todd Walker



Idaho Lake Water Assessment Report - 1992
Panhandle Health District Storm Water Management - 1993
Amoco Geotextile Reference Manual
Kennedy Engineers Storm Water Handbook - 1992
North American Green/Erosion Control - 1993
Spirit Lake Watershed Management Plan - 1992
City of Dalton Gardens Storm Water Plan - 1991
City of Hayden Lake Citizen Survey - 1993
City of Hauser Lake Comprehensive Plan
City of Dalton Gardens Comprehensive Plan
USDA/NRCS Kootenai County Soil Survey

Welcome to our Comprehensive Plan (the "Plan"). The City of Hayden Lake has prepared this document to clearly describe the kind of community in which we want to live, and help define the community that we hope our children will inherit. This Plan affirms our understanding that the quality of life depends on community action, and that a responsibility to the community, and to the landscape that gives our community its special sense of place, is inherent in the title to every parcel of property in the Hayden Lake area.

The policies adopted in this Plan, and the on-going growth of our region, set major challenges before our community. Maintaining the quality of life that brought us here will not be easy. The City of Hayden Lake may be required to assume new functions. Property owners will be required to consider long-term community interests in their decision-making. And we must all be responsible for the costs of making this Plan work, not just in dollars, but also in our active participation in a continuing planning process.

Confronting the future is difficult. Bearing the loss that will inevitably result from avoiding the issues will be more so.

Hayden Lake residents need not travel far to watch the conversion of formerly rural landscapes and the submersion of formerly distinct communities into a suburban sprawl. The members of the Ad Hoc Planning Committee and the City Council have worked diligently to prepare a plan that will result in a different pattern of development in Hayden Lake and its Impact Area.


The Comprehensive Plan: Its Function

The Comprehensive Plan sets forth City goals and policies, as established through public hearing procedures by the City Council acting as the Planning Commission which related to the long-range growth of the community. As such, the Plan provides a guide for the evaluation of significant future development proposals and should serve the following purposes:

1        To express the quality of physical environment sought by citizens of the community.

2        To provide sufficient information about City policies and long-range goals of the community to enable public and private enterprise to coordinate their planning activities and development programs.

3        To facilitate City Council consideration of future public investments, capital improvements programs and other fiscal programs related to future urban development.

Goals and Policies

The goals and policies for the City are developed in the Plan for each planning element. These policies are intended to provide a directory and framework within which the City can make planning decisions.

These goals and policies may be rewritten, revised, expanded upon or deleted by the City Council following the procedures set forth in the Act.

A "Goal" is defined as the following:
A general statement in the Plan which indicates an aim or purpose to be achieved.

A "Policy" is defined as:
A specific statement in the Plan which relates to methods of achieving a determined goal.


Goal I – Land Use

The physical development of the City should be accomplished by systematic and deliberate decisions, recognizing all the available alternatives, and all the effects and the desires of the citizens.


1)     Insure that adequate information and analysis of the effects of a proposed development activity is available to the Council and used by the Council as a basis for land use decisions.

2)     Provide a reliable basis for public and private investment by establishing such standards as zoning, subdivision, erosion/storm water management codes and policies for utility extension.

3)     Periodically review the comprehensive plan to insure that it is consistent with the desires and thinking of the citizens.

4)     Coordinate with citizen organizations and governmental agencies which have developed programs which affect the physical development within or adjacent to the City of Hayden Lake, e.g., Hayden Lake Recreational Water & Sewer District, Hayden Lake Watershed Association, Idaho Dept. of Environmental Quality, Panhandle Health District, USDA/Forest Service and the Kootenai County Noxious Weed Control Department.

Goal 2 - Natural Resources

Ensure a balanced environment where physical development may occur with minimal adverse affect to the natural amenities of the area.


  1. The City should adopt standards for the designation, enhancement, and maintenance of the following identified natural resources: health of mature trees, natural landscapes, quiet streets, slow residential traffic, high water quality and open space.
  2. For all new developments, the City should encourage development to conserve natural amenities, such as streams, wooded areas, open space, greenbelts, quiet streets, aquifer protection, and incorporate these natural features into the development plan as open spaces, buffer areas or other common areas.
  3. The City should encourage landscape plans for projects removing a substantial amount of earth, and the City should consider adoption of standards which will   minimize damage by earth-moving equipment. 

Goal 3 - Hazardous Areas

Protect lives and property from unacceptable risks resulting from natural and man-made hazards.


  1. The City should identify all hazardous areas in the City including hazardous areas in any adopted Area of City Impact.
  2. Structures should not be built in slide hazard areas unless adverse impacts can be mitigated.
  3. Develop guidelines and ordinances to mitigate erosion, storm water, landslides, and other hazards that may result from land development.
  4. For development projects of significant size, as determined by the City, the City should require an impact analysis of traffic, storm water, wastewater, schools, water, and pedestrian traffic, prior to approval.

Goal 4 - Transportation

Maintain an efficient transportation system in the City of Hayden Lake.


  1. All components of the transportation system should be coordinated with neighboring jurisdictions and with state and federal programs.
  2. Maintenance and improvement of existing streets should have priority over construction of new streets.
  3. The City prefers public streets over private streets.
  4. For adequate access and circulation of emergency vehicles, all non-through streets should end in a cul-de-sac.
  5. The City should encourage transportation systems that insure safe, pedestrian and bicyclist access. 
  6. New development should be reviewed to determine the traffic impact to existing streets.
  7. The City should assess the impact costs of new development, both residential and business, on existing streets.
  8. The City should as a condition of approval for any development of four (4) or more lots, require dedication to the appropriate agency (s) of sufficient rights-of-way, improvements and access to accommodate any increase in traffic volume resulting from the development.
  9. Development proposals should include traffic impact studies to determine the feasibility and conformance with existing and proposed transportation systems. The studies should consider all existing and proposed contribution to the transportation routes.

Goal 5 - Population and Housing

The growth of the City should be contained within well defined city limits and should be managed to maintain the rural residential quality of housing.

Existing Policy

  1. Annexations should be considered only when an annexation would preserve the quality of life in the City.
  2. Future growth in the City should be promoted by filling existing developed areas that are already served by community services and utilities.
  3. Continue to encourage single-family housing to insure a quiet lifestyle and protect property values consistent with the existing development pattern in the city.
  4. New additional housing units should conform to building codes and the comprehensive plan.
  5. Housing in hazard areas, such as steep slopes or slippage areas, should be discouraged.
  6. New streets, roads, and public utilities built to serve new housing should be designed and constructed to city approved standards.

Goal 6 - Public Services, Facilities and Utilities

Promote the development of facilities and utilities and services necessary for the well-being of the citizens of the City in a manner which will guide development in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan.


  1. The development of facilities and utilities should be accomplished as elements of a complete and integrated utility and facilities plan.
  2. City services and facilities should not be extended beyond the municipal boundaries.
  3. Public buildings and facilities should be designed and located so that:
    • Capacities are related to present and future plans.
    • Ample land is available for expansion.
    • Joint use or multiple use of buildings is encouraged to reduce public costs.
  4. Water supply systems adequate in both quantity and quality should be encouraged as part of all new development.
  5. Water supply systems for development should include considerations for domestic use, irrigation, sanitation and fire protection.
  6. Support Hayden Lake Water & Sewer District’s effort to provide adequate sewage treatment systems for all development in order to reduce or eliminate pollution of Hayden Lake.
  7. Support Panhandle Health District to provide adequate on-site sewage disposal.
  8. Support Northern Lakes Fire District‘s effort to provide fire protection to the city.
  9. Coordinate with the fire district to insure that new development is designed and located so fire protection can be effectively provided.
  10. The extension of all utility systems should be accomplished in a manner which is orderly and properly coordinated so that it is the least disruptive to the natural environment and other public utilities.


Water Quality

Hayden Lake is the visual focus and center of activity in our community. Protecting the quality of its waters is the greatest single concern addressed by this Plan. Effective water quality protection must begin at all lake watershed areas. This Plan recognizes the primary relationship between land use and water quality. The manner in which land is developed and used adjacent to the shoreline and within the watershed and the resultant effects such activities have on the lake is of primary concern to the citizens of the City.

Valuable as it is to the community, Hayden Lake does not supply our drinking water (at least not directly), but, we share an important water quality concern with the 300,000 other people who depend on the Rathdrum Prairie-Spokane Aquifer as a source of safe drinking water. We also share the responsibility for aquifer's protection in that the Hayden Lake watershed provides part of its annual recharge.

Our emphasis on water quality is heightened by the vulnerability of the water resources of the City, in that:

  • Hayden Lake is presently eutrophic (enriched with nutrients that support the profuse growth of algae and invasive vegetation, e.g., Eurasian Water Milfoil), and susceptible to rapid deterioration as a result of upstream lakeshore land disturbance; and
  • the rapidly permeable soils that occur throughout our community and the proposed area of City impact combine with shoreline and watershed development make Hayden Lake vulnerable to contamination from the surface.

Hayden Lake is vulnerable to pollution from development that disturbs the slopes above the lake, impacts the natural filtering capacity of lakeside wetlands and tributary stream corridors, or places contaminants where they can flow (across the surface or through the soil) into surface or ground waters.

The implementation strategies adopted here protect water quality by encouraging development away from sites where it is likely to have an adverse impact on the water quality, and that encouraging water quality protection as a priority in the design, construction, and continuing operation and maintenance of all developments.

Components of Special Concern

Land use decisions should take into consideration the natural environment and physical characteristics of the City and areas immediately surrounding the City. To make logical and justified land use decisions there are two important factors which should interplay. The first factor is consideration of basic background studies such as those identified herein as "sources". These studies provide information relating to community characteristics which include physical characteristics such as soils, geology, flooding and land suitability. Social information, including population growth, the economy or the social relationships should also be considered. These background studies provide basic background information necessary to make land use decisions.

The second factor to consider in the decision making process is the goals and policies adopted by the community in this Comprehensive Plan. The goals and policies are statements which reflect the values of the community and express how the citizens desire to see their city develop. In many situations the physical environment would be the major determinant for designation of a use in a particular area. In other instances, the goals and policies may indicate a different designation of a land use in a particular area.

A development proposal, then, should first be examined in light of the City's established goals, then looked at in the light of the background. Background studies and information should continually be updated as in the planning process.

Goals and policies should also be updated to reflect current concerns and objectives of the community. As a result, good planning will provide fair and equitable land use decisions.                                                          

Natural Resources

Water Resources

The most important natural resource of the area is Hayden Lake. The City is located on its shores, it provides residents with a highly aesthetic view from their own homes, it provides drinking water for some residents, and supports a multitude of recreational opportunities.

Since the quality of life in the City is so closely allied to Hayden Lake, it is appropriate for the City to assume a role of strong leadership in preserving the quality of the lake.

The lake itself has a surface area of approximately 4,200 acres, 27 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 178 feet. Its major tributaries are Hayden Creek, Mokins Creek, Yellowbanks Creek and Avondale Lake outlet. Only Hayden Creek flows year round. Most of the lake's outflow is through seepage into Rathdrum Aquifer.

Available data indicates that the lake is in its oligotrophic stage with high oxygen and relatively low nutrient content. However, some bays with considerable development and poor water circulation may be mesotrophic or even eutrophic, characterized by high nutrient levels, dense aquatic weed growth and potentially supportive of algae blooms.  State fecal coliform limits have never been exceeded although the lake's major swim beach was closed briefly in the summer of 1973, when total coliform limits were exceeded. High coliform levels appear to be associated with dense residential development, poor circulation and hot, dry weather. Algal growth is phosphorus limited at most times of the year.

Detailed bacteriological and chemical data for the lake may be found in the Idaho Lake Water Assessment Report 7992, Jere Mossier, PhD, Idaho Division of Environmental Quality.

In 2006, the Hayden Lake Water Quality Report was generated in a joint effort of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality’s Citizen Volunteer Monitoring Program and the Hayden Lake Watershed Association.  Based on Mid-Lake, Berven Bay and Northern Arm sampling stations the water quality of Hayden Lake remains good. Lake clarity, total phosphorous, chlorophyll, and dissolved oxygen measurements provided values in the range of high water quality. However, total phosphorous has increased from values measured in 2004 and remains above the goal of the Hayden Lake Management Plan and federally required levels determined to fully protect water quality. 


Soils within the Hayden Lake area were formed by lake sediments, volcanic ash, glacial outwash materials, loess and weathered basalt.  While the texture and structure of these soils vary, they range from fine gravelly silt loam to silt loam which are moderately deep to very deep, and well drained.  Some areas within the city limits contain clay soils which are deep, but poorly drained.  Soils located on steep slopes are generally more shallow and well drained.  While it is not necessary to identify individual soil type in this plan, their locations and specific characteristics are available from the local U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service office and their computer web site.

When thinking in terms of development, soils become important for several reasons.

For each development proposal the soil’s ability to support structures must be determined. Some soils are very sensitive to slumping and damage by freezing/thawing action. Damage to structures located on these soil types can be significant. Soils are also important from a wastewater disposal concern.

Clay soils have low permeability, and wastewater may not flow through them adequately. This can result in septic systems backing up. Course grained soils are very porous and may allow effluent to flow through them too quickly for complete removal of bacteria, viruses and nutrients. These may be carried into nearby lakes or groundwater supplies.

The stability of a soil must be considered when proposals for development are examined. Highly erosive soils can generate significant amounts of sediments which can block drainage culverts, destroy fish spawning beds and ultimately fill in lakes.

Topography / Slope

Another important element of the natural environment which must be addressed is slope, a function of the topography of the area. Slope is a major determinant of the speed with which water flows over the land. Steep slopes increase the speed of the water, thereby increasing its potential to erode the soil.

Steep slopes also increase the costs of construction for both structures and roads.

Soil absorption wastewater disposal systems are susceptible to failure due to steep slopes. Effluent tends to flow laterally to the surface of the soil rather than vertically downward when slopes exceed 15%.

Geology / Bedrock

Just as critical as slopes are bedrock considerations. Construction activities can be significantly hindered by encounters with bedrock. A shallow depth to bedrock also encourages soil absorption effluent to flow onto the ground as the bedrock becomes exposed. This is especially hazardous in sloping areas.


Vegetation found within the City of Hayden Lake is made up of all aged, mixed conifer and deciduous tree species, primarily Douglas fir and Ponderosa pine.  Understory species include various native and exotic shrubs, forbs and grasses.  Vegetation also includes both aquatic and terrestrial noxious weed species, which may pose a threat to water and soil resources, and desirable plant communities.


Within the City of Hayden Lake, both native and exotic vegetation provides a habitat for whitetail deer, various small mammals, Chinese pheasant, Hungarian partridge, forest grouse, quail, various song birds, eagles, osprey, geese, other migratory birds, coyotes, skunks, cougars, bears, raccoons and wild turkeys introduced by the Idaho Department of Fish & Game.


The Idaho Department of Fish & Game, has recently completed a fishing management plan for Hayden Lake. That plan found that:

"At the present time, the once famous fishing for cutthroat trout has been drastically depleted by introductions of competing species, over fishing, and to a lesser extent, by habitat degradation." The plan also noted that:

"Summer home development and logging practices through the late 1950's have lowered overall water quality slightly which may account for the eventual disappearance of large mayflies the lake was once noted for producing. Hayden Lake still has more than adequate spawning and rearing streams, relatively good water quality, and food supplies sufficient to support a good fishery. Initiation of proper land management techniques and a sewer system represent good chances for maintaining Hayden Lake in its present status. "

Hayden Lake was once famous for its cutthroat trout. Because the public has expressed a desire to rebuild this type of fishery and the lake's water quality is still good enough to support it, the Department of Fish & Game has decided to embark upon an enhancement of the cutthroat population. The success of this effort will depend to a large extent on the public's ability to maintain the water quality of the lake.



Implementation of this Plan involves pursuit of its goals by the City Council while adhering to its policies.

The City should develop, use and continually update its zoning and subdivision ordinances. The Zoning ordinance addresses the uses of the land and the densities of the use. The Subdivision ordinance controls how development and construction takes place. Street widths, provisions for utilities and building setbacks are some commonly addressed concern. An erosion and grading ordinance should at least be developed to protect Hayden Lake from erosion and degradation of water quality.

Another method of implementing the Plan is the optimal allocation of budgetary funds. Items of greatest concern to the City should receive first consideration when funds are spent.

The City should develop a capital improvements program which would include a priority list of possible projects.

The City should also periodically review with Kootenai County, the City’s Area of City Impact. This process allows a city and surrounding jurisdictions to negotiate whose plan and ordinances will apply in an area defined to have an impact upon the City.

Goal 2

Encourage full citizen participation in public decision-making.


  1. The public health, safety and welfare of the whole community should be given priority over the special interests of a small group.

Goal 6

Develop and maintain a comprehensive plan and planning process that is adaptable to changing conditions.


  1. Assure that land use decisions conform to the adopted comprehensive plan.
  2. The comprehensive plan for the City should be reviewed and updated periodically as warranted by growth.
  3. The council should meet with a standing committee for long range planning at least biannually.


Before white men were attracted to the region in the mid-1800's, the Hayden Lake area was a favorite gathering place of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe. The area was rich in game, fish, berries, and bulbs. According to tribal legend, hunting and gathering became less fruitful over the years and when a tribal chief was caught by a giant whirlpool in the lake, the tribe packed up and left the area never to return.

Land near Honeysuckle Beach was homesteaded in 1878 by a former cavalryman turned settler, Matt Heyden. In addition to developing an extensive farm, Heyden planted the first fruit orchard in the area. John Hager homesteaded at what is now the Hayden Lake Country Club. According to legend, the men were friends and often played cards together. During a card game, they decided to rename the lake, and the winner would have the honor. Heyden won the game and the lake became Heyden's Lake. In the passage of time, the name evolved into its present name, Hayden Lake.

Arrival of the railway and steamboats to serve logging and mining interests instigated growth around Hayden Lake. In October, 1903, a new electric interurban railway began operating between Coeur d'Alene and Spokane. Additionally, in August, 1906, the Spokane and Inland Empire Railway extended service to "tap big timber belts and sawmills" that existed in Hayden. At one time, four steamboats served the logging and mining interests around the lake.

As a result of the increased activity around Hayden Lake, a "summer resort of first class nature" was envisioned by developers. Buildings were designed by Kirtland Cutter of Spokane and the grounds were planned by J.C. Olmstead.

Bozanta (Indian for meeting place by the lake) Tavern was the name chosen for the resort and the golf course was expanded in 1912, to become Idaho's first l8-hole course. The Bozanta Tavern and Golf Course did a booming business as a destination resort promoted by the Great Northern Railway, which sought out the Spokane and Inland Empire Railway. The electric interurban terminus was near the Bozanta Tavern, and the rail line passed through the City along what is now 4th Street. Rail service was soon expanded to hourly service on Sundays due to the popularity of the developing resort. Rail service to Hayden was discontinued, in 1929, and an era came to a close.

On March 24, 1947, a petition signed by James Hill and thirty-six other citizens was filed with the Board of County Commissioners of Kootenai County, Idaho. On March 31, 1947, pursuant to an order of the Board the city was duly incorporated.

Legal Authority for this Plan

The legal authority for the preparation and implementation of this Plan is found in Idaho's Local Planning Act of 1975, as amended (I.C.67-6501, et seq.) (the "Act"). The Act requires cities and counties to adopt a comprehensive plan and zoning and subdivision ordinances.

Local Planning Act Compliance: This Plan is adopted pursuant to the Act. The Plan addresses the statutorily authorized purpose of protecting the "health, safety, and general welfare" of the people of the City of Hayden Lake (the "City"). It also fulfills many of the specific purposes for local planning listed in LC. 67-6502, including: protecting and enhancing property values, ensuring the provision of adequate and affordable public services, avoiding the undue concentration of population, ensuring that development is commensurate with the physical characteristics of the land, and avoiding water pollution.

The Plan considers previous and existing conditions, trends, desirable goals and objectives for our community. The Plan specifically addresses:

  1. Population

  2. Land Use

  3. Natural Resources

  4. Hazardous Areas

  5. Public Services, Facilities. and Utilities

  6. Transportation

  7. Economic Development

  8. Recreation

  9. Special Areas or Sites

  10. Housing

  11. Community Design

  12. Implementation

The Plan does not specifically address school facilities because no public schools are located within the municipal boundaries of the City. Economic development and recreation are not specifically addressed since commercial activity within the City is minimal and due to the fact that the City only has one park.

Planning Area

The City of Hayden Lake, Kootenai county, Idaho (the "City"), is located approximately six miles North of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The City is generally bounded on the North by Avondale on Hayden in Kootenai County, on the West by Strahorn Road and the City of Hayden, on the South by City of Hayden and Kootenai County, and on the East by Hayden Lake.

The planning area for this Plan includes the area within the City’s municipal boundaries as is indicated on the Land Use Map attached hereto as Exhibit “A”. The Map also illustrates the City’s current Area of City Impact, even though this Plan does not govern or apply to that portion of such Area located outside of the City’s municipal boundaries except to the extent that Kootenai County has already approved/approves of the same. Pursuant to Idaho Code Section 67-6508(e), such Map is a required component of this Plan.

9393 N. Strahorn Rd, Hayden Lake, Idaho 83835 -- 208.772.2161