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Concerned about subdivision

| June 29, 2022 6:35 AM

As former Mayor of Columbia Falls and Flathead County Commissioner, I was shocked to become aware of a proposed high density subdivision to be located on the corner of River Road and Highway 2, (Just east of the bridge). It is being proposed, with the support of our City Planning Director, by the same developer  James Barnett, Flathead Mountain River LLC that proposed the Big Mountain Road debacle that was turned down by the City Council of Whitefish. Trying to keep this brief, he is proposing 455 units on 49 acres, 45 feet in height.

There are so many issues and problems associated with this proposal I will attempt to address just a few for your information. River Road is a narrow highly used (from Columbia Falls Stage and Middle Road) that it is currently difficult to access  Highway 2. Flathead County Road Department did a traffic study two years ago that gave the number 2,600 cars per day over a seven-day period. At 2-1/2 car trips daily, at full build out, 5,600 car trips per day, even with a light, that may or may not be installed by the developer, is grossly too much for this area. 

They are going to run sewer and water under the river; I simply can’t imagine that having a long life as the river gravel bar shifts yearly.

We are also talking about 1,200 people at build out. The city sewer plant can not, without major improvement  (who pays for a new sewer plant) handle this or the other proposed developments being considered east of the river.  

The Daily Inter Lake in Monday’s paper talked about a water shortage due to the unexpected increased development in Kalispell, that will likely happen here also. There is much more I could add but the purpose of this letter was to briefly inform and ask that you send your comments, pro or con to the Columbia Falls Planning Board at:  staalandb@cityofcolumbiafalls.com 

Columbia Falls is proud to be the Gateway to Glacier Park but can you just imagine the view as you leave our city with this subdivision with 455 apartments on your way to the park.

Respectfully submitted.

Gary Hall

Columbia Falls

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