[UPDATE! The hearing on SB379 is scheduled for Monday, February 20, at 10:00am! ]
Greetings NFPA members and keepers of the wild. We hope this message finds you well. We are writing today because we need your help! About 2 minutes of your time in total.
We just learned that Steve Fitzpatrick (SD 10) just introduced SB379, a bill that would prohibit existing and future minimum lot size zoning regulations beyond 3 miles of a municipality. Minimum lot sizes would be left up to the Montana DEQ based on septic/well permits (typically 1 acre). This bill stands in direct contrast of the North Fork’s 20 acre lot minimum that maintains the basic values like solitude and wilderness that brought us all here.
We are asking you to do two simple things:
- Call or email your senator, Carl Glimm, in opposition of SB379: (406) 751-7334 or Carl.Glimm@legmt.gov.
- Call 406-444-4800 and simply leave a message for all senate local government committee members in opposition of SB379.
- Okay, yeah we only said two, but if you have more time, you can testify as well!
Here are directions on how to testify. The hearing is now expected this coming Monday, February 20, at 1:00am. Testimony from North Fork landowners will be very helpful. Consider the talking points of our “Montana way of life, rural values, community character, keeping Montana like it is”, etc.
More folks to contact if you’re feeling hot:
https://meic.org/our-work/legislature/ has more useful information.
We’ve updated our collection of zoning information. The “Zoning Documents & Links” section of the archives now includes:
- the North Fork Neighborhood Plan,
- the full set of Flathead County zoning regulations and
- the North Fork-specific pages from the zoning regulations.
These materials were retrieved from the Flathead County Planning and Zoning “Documents Online” page. All are PDF documents.
A minor “text amendment” to the North Fork zoning regulations was proposed this week. It clarifies the language concerning cell towers, but has no regulatory impact.
View the change here: http://flathead.mt.gov/planning_zoning/documents/1-Addcellulartower.pdf
For those of you who have been following the “greenbelt” zoning kerfuffle, the Hungry Horse News posted a brief report . . .
A new zoning district proposed for county land along highways was unanimously approved by the Flathead County Commissioners on July 27.
As proposed, development in the B-2HG general-business highway-greenbelt zoning district would require mitigation of visual impacts of commercial development, with special attention to setbacks, landscaping and signs.
In the Columbia Falls area, the zoning district could be applied to U.S. 2 and Montana Highways 40 and 206, but it will not affect properties regulated under the Canyon and North Fork neighborhood plans and will not apply to properties within the Columbia Falls two-mile planning and zoning jurisdiction.
Continue reading . . .
The Daily Inter Lake posted a surprisingly lengthy report on Monday’s county commissioner’s decision to reject the North Fork zoning “text amendment” . . .
Agreeing it posed undo restrictions on private property rights, the Flathead County commissioners on Monday unanimously rejected a text amendment that would have banned temporary structures in the North Fork Zoning District’s 150-setback from public roads and bodies of water.
The North Fork Land Use Advisory Committee had asked for a zoning text amendment that would require temporary structures to abide by designated setbacks. The amendment also would have provided a definition for temporary structures.
Continue reading . . .
The Flathead County commissioners are scheduled to consider adjustments to language for the North Fork Zoning District concerning setbacks on Feb 14th, 9:30am in their offices at 800 South Main Street, Kalispell. (A previous post discusses this in more detail.)
John Frederick sent out this reminder earlier today . . .
To North Fork Landowners
This is a reminder that the Commissioners’ hearing is on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at 9:30 am in their office. It is in the basement. It would be good if some of you could attend.
All this text amendment does is give a definition of temporary structures and include them in the setback distances from roads, rivers, lakes and streams. This was the intention of North Fork zoning from the beginning and only applies to the North Fork Zoning District.
For those who wish to provide comments to the County Commissioners, they must be received three days before the hearing. Without positive comments the chance of passage is slim. The names and email addresses for the Commissioners are:
Jim Dupont (email@example.com)
Pam Holmquist (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dale Lauman (email@example.com)
You should also copy Mary Fisher, office manager of Planning and Zoning, (firstname.lastname@example.org) with each email or letter so there is a record of each message to the Commissioners. They need not be long.
The snail-mail address for the Commissioners is
800 South Main, Kalispell, MT 59901.
The Flathead County Planning and Zoning Office address is
1035 1st Avenue West, Kalispell, MT 59901.
The Flathead County commissioners are scheduled to consider adjustments to language for the North Fork Zoning District concerning setbacks. The Daily Inter Lake has a good summary of the issue. [Note: The meeting date is incorrect; it should be Feb. 14.] . . .
The issue of banning temporary structures in the North Fork Zoning District’s 150-foot setback from public roads and bodies of water is the focus of a Jan. 14 [correction: Feb. 14] public hearing before the Flathead County commissioners.
The hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the commission chambers, 800 S. Main St. in Kalispell.
Continue reading . . .
This is actually a pretty good article from today’s Daily Inter Lake . . .
A zoning proposal to limit the size of extractive industries on private land in the North Fork has failed for a second time to win approval from the Flathead County commissioners.
A motion made on Wednesday by Commissioner Joe Brenneman to approve a zoning text amendment to limit sand and gravel operations and other extractive industries to five acres and 20,000 tons annually failed for lack of a second.
Brenneman made the same motion in October, but that also died for lack of a second.
Continue reading . . .
This brief mention in today’s Daily Inter Lake belies a lot of work by the North Fork Land Use Advisory Committee . . .
Prohibiting temporary structures from the setback area in the North Fork got a positive recommendation from the Flathead County Planning Board Wednesday night.
The vote was 4-3 in favor of approval.
The North Fork setback text amendments pertained to the 150-foot setback and gave a definition for a temporary structure.
For more background, read the full article . . .
Despite broad-based support from North Fork residents and landowners, the Flathead County Commissioners decided not to decide on a zoning amendment that would restrict the size of “extractive industries” (gravel pits, basically) in the North Fork.
The Daily Inter Lake has a good write-up, including a fair bit of background information . . .
A zoning proposal to limit the size of extractive industries on private land in the North Fork failed to win approval Tuesday from the Flathead County commissioners.
A motion by commissioner Joe Brenneman to approve a zoning text amendment to limit sand and gravel operations and other extractive industries to five acres and 20,000 tons annually failed for lack of a second.
The commissioners left the door open, though, by deciding to take the proposal under advisement and deal with it again “within a reasonable length of time.”
Read the full article . . .