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Board to consider apartments in Bigfork

by CHAD SOKOL
Daily Inter Lake | March 31, 2021 2:00 AM

Proposals to build a manufactured home park in Evergreen and a cluster of apartment buildings in Bigfork will go before the Flathead County Board of Adjustment during the board's next meeting on April 6.

Donald "Scott" Davis is asking the board for a conditional-use permit to develop a manufactured home park on 1.47 acres at 40 Davis Court, between Spring Creek and South Cedar Drive.

The property is zoned for two-family residential use and is currently occupied by two manufactured homes. The proposed project would divide the land into seven spaces — six for rental homes and one for an office or caretaker's unit.

Flathead County Planning and Zoning Department staff reported the proposal appears to meet most criteria but noted concerns raised by Evergreen Fire Rescue and Flathead County Water District No. 1, which serves the area.

The fire department said it "opposes the conditional-use permit application based on inaccurate information about fire water supply. Scott Davis will need to increase the available water supply based on [the] map given."

Similarly, the water district said "no conditional-use permit should even be considered" without prior approval from the water district, the fire department and the state Department of Environmental Quality.

"The property owner has not consulted with the district about this proposed use and we are extremely concerned about whether adequate water pressure would be available for fire protection at this time," the water district said. "Also, the layout attached to the zoning request has some very obvious problems based on our understanding of applicable rules."

Water and sewer mains would have to be extended to serve the property. Planning staff reported a permit for the project would be conditioned on meeting water, sewer and fire-suppression requirements.

THE BOARD also will consider a request from Mark and Tina Gillette for a conditional-use permit to build a dozen apartments on an acre of land at 236 Jewel Basin Court in Bigfork.

Jewel Basin Court is a private cul-de-sac off Montana 83 that runs parallel to a row of businesses along Montana 35. The Gilletes' property is at the south end of the street and zoned for "community business." They are proposing to build four multifamily homes, each with three units and totaling about 3,400 square feet, as well as 27 off-street parking spaces.

The board approved a similar project along Jewel Basin Court in December, granting Rodney and Tia MacFarlane permits to build 20 apartments on two neighboring lots.

The board will meet at 6 p.m. on April 6 in the second-floor conference room of the county's South Campus Building, 40 11th St. West in Kalispell.

Reporter Chad Sokol can be reached at 758-4434 or csokol@dailyinterlake.com