Friday, May 14, 2021

North Fork planning

| April 14, 2021 9:15 AM

The Land Use Advisory Committee and the text amendment subcommittee have been busier than one-armed paper hangers all winter. They have studied the existing conditional uses and permitted uses and consulted with the Flathead County Planning Office.

As a result they came up with a proposed text amendment to bring definitions into compliance with current regulations. They then submitted the amendment to the Flathead County planning staff for comment and sent it to the entire LUAC for comment and review.

Planning staff has reviewed the amendment and sent their comments to the LUAC.

Now the entire Land Use Advisory Committee will meet at 6 p.m. on April 15 at Sondreson Hall to discuss the amendment and decide whether or not to formally send it on to the county planning board. Of course, the April 15 meeting is open to the public and questions and comments will be accepted. County planner Mark Mussman will also attend the meeting.

In my opinion, the subcommittee has done a superb job. I fully expect the proposed text amendment will be formally forwarded to the county planning board. They will hold the required public review and then send it on to the county commissioners to grant or deny.

Included in the public review process will be at least one meeting in the North Fork and written comments will be accepted throughout the process. All comments will be forwarded to the county planning board and then on to the county commissioners.

This process will take months to complete and is designed to allow everyone to have input and be involved. A decision will likely not be made final before September 2021 and the amendment can be added to or changed at every level.

I support the document as it is, but I recognize the need for it to be discussed and reviewed by the entire community. It is important because it is one tool in guiding the community into the future. That is especially important because so much of the North Fork is managed by the federal government and I do not trust folks in Washington D.C. to consider, or care about, what things are like in rural Montana. We deserve a voice in the future, and land use planning is a tool for us to have that voice.

What do you think?

P.S. Land Use Planning also helps us, as landowners, to get along with each other, by developing a common vision. Think about that too!

Larry Wilson's North Fork Views appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.