Saturday, January 28, 2023

More on elk

| December 28, 2022 6:05 AM

“The developers claim River Highlands will have no impact on wildlife because it leaves a buffer in place along the river.” This quote was taken from the Hungry Horse News article dated 12.22.2022. This statement is an outright lie and I can prove it, I have various photos through the years of the elk and deer in this area. I took photos of 84 elk on Dec. 17, 2022 in this field. The local elk and deer population use these fields all the time along with bears, coyotes and wild turkeys. This subdivision will impact the local wildlife and if the city council doesn’t see that ... they are greatly misinformed.

 Right now, the area off of River Road is zoned as CR3 Single Family Residential. Looking on the Flathead GIS Interactive map clearly shows this fact.

The entire area from the turn off from Highway 2 onto River Road, from Rogers Road to Hwy 206 and from River road on to Columbia falls stage is all Single Family type zoning. The Highlands subdivision proposal does not follow with the character of the area and will cause more problems than what it will fix for housing. The River Highlands development is just too high in density for this area and should be denied.

I understand this area will get developed and I understand the need for affordable housing in our town. This 49 acres can be responsibly developed in the current CR3 zoning requirements. With the right developer, this area could be developed for affordable housing, and not increase the density to the point that it will create more problems to an area that is not set up for the influx of traffic/people that the River Highlands development will create.

The Benches Subdivision is an excellent example of how this area can be developed without the high density that the Highland subdivision proposes.

The developer has options available to them to be able to develop this land in a responsible manner without changing the zoning, without creating this high of density, without changing the character of the area and most importantly without creating a major hazard for all involved with the traffic that comes with this type of development.

The people of Columbia Falls have already spoken out against this developer’s previous plans and the zone change ... you listened to us once ... please do so again and deny this request.


Cindy Houk

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