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Subdivision proposed east of Kalispell recommended for denial

by Kianna Gardner
Daily Inter Lake | July 11, 2020 1:00 AM

The Flathead County Planning Board voted 4-2 on Wednesday to forward a recommendation to the Flathead County Commissioners to deny a request for a 40-lot subdivision near Kalispell.

The subject property is nearly 50 acres in size and is located off Montana 35, just west of the intersection with Montana 206. Applicants and property owners Robert and Donna Fink, with technical representation from Sands Surveying, are looking to create 38 residential lots and two commercial lots. The subdivision would be known as Countryside Estates.

The property is currently used as a nursery and is covered in trees, according to planning documents. Half of the property is zoned Scenic Corridor and the other half is not zoned. The subdivision would be adjacent to Country Estates Phase 1, a 28-lot subdivision directly to the east.

According to county Planning Director Mark Mussman, the board’s recommendation was based on concerns related primarily to “density and access.” Board members’ concerns stemmed, in part, from issues outlined by the Creston Rural Fire Department in its statement to the Planning Office. Fire officials stated they see numerous “close calls” from the Lake Blaine corner to Middle Road and “adding additional residential lots and commercial lots and the associated traffic these bring will only make this a more dangerous roadway to the traveling public.”

The staff report also states that, should the subdivision be built, there would be “minimal impact” on agriculture or agricultural water user facilities and water and wastewater resources.

In other business, the planning board forwarded favorable recommendations for a zone change request in the Evergreen Zoning District totaling nearly 30 acres and another a zone change request in the Willow Glen Zoning District on a nearly 16-acre property. They also forwarded a favorable recommendation for a request to create six residential lots on 32 acres in Kalispell.

The board was expected to review and discuss a proposed 80-acre subdivision near Prairie View Road between Whitefish and Kalispell, but that agenda item will be discussed during the board’s August meeting instead.

The board reviews requests and then votes on whether to forward a favorable or unfavorable recommendation to the commissioners, though that is only a recommendation. The commissioners then review the requests and recommendations before approving or denying applications.

Reporter Kianna Gardner can be reached at 758-4407 or kgardner@dailyinterlake.com