Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Council green lights Tamarack Meadows

Editor | January 25, 2023 1:30 PM

The Columbia Falls City Council last week approved a large subdivision at Meadow Lake Resort, with amended conditions.

As proposed by developer Schellinger Construction, Tamarack Meadows is a 103lot subdivision on 47 acres, with lots ranging from 7,500 square feet to 13,428 square feet — or about 2.1 dwellings per acre. All told it has 22 acres for lots, 7 acres in streets and sidewalks, and 17.5 acres in open space. It also has a couple of lots slated for RV storage.

It is located at the northwest end of the resort and is the final build-out of a master plan for the resort that was originally crafted in the late 1970s.

Tamarack Meadows was initially approved by the city in 2006, but was never developed after the initial developers

ran into financial difficulty.

The council approved the subdivision with a host of conditions, including requiring that Schellinger build a sidewalk on the west side of Meadow Lake Drive, provided it gets approval by the respective homeowner’s association and Flathead County.

Meadow Lake Drive is a county road.

Traffic and density have been the two main concerns by neighbors concerning the development. The area has grown up over the years with subdivisions to the south, west and east of Tamarack Meadows. As such, neighbors opposed the new subdivision largely because it has about twice the home density of the surrounding properties.

But after some investigation, it was determined the subdivision could still meet the setback requirements of the resort and keep the density at 103 units.

“Carver Engineering drafted the building envelopes for some of the smallest lots, thereby demonstrating how they could meet the Meadow Lake standards for setbacks,” a staff report to council noted. “In all cases the building envelopes for the lots within the Tamarack Meadows project meet the minimum square footage requirements, meaning that future lot owners should be able to develop a home on the property while meeting the standards of the Meadow Lake (covenants, conditions and restrictions). According to the Meadow Lake Country Club Estates CC and R’s the setbacks for single family homes are 20-feet from the front and rear lots lines and 15-feet from the side lot lines.”

Perhaps most importantly, a route through a private landowner’s property could divert Schellinger’s construction traffic off Meadow Lake Drive and Turnberry Terrace entirely.

Those two roads are the main access to the property.

Now, a private landowner has apparently agreed to let Schellinger build a temporary access to the subdivision so the company can put in the roads and other infrastructure to the development without having to use Meadow Lake Drive or Turnberry Terrace.

Construction traffic was one of the main concerns of neighbors.

Another added condition was that Tamarack Meadows would have to contribute 25% of the cost of road maintenance in the Mountain Watch subdivision.

Turnberry Terrace serves Mountain Watch and is a private road.

Another condition requires that Schellinger build a fence along a neighbor’s property to the west, to keep new neighbors from encroaching on his land.

The subdivision still needs the necessary permits from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for sewer and water hookups.

It would be served by wells at the resort. Meadow Lake contracts with the city of Columbia Falls for sewer service.

The city sewer system has the capacity to serve the subdivision, city staff have said in the past.

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