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BLUAC considers zone change for land near Conifer Lane

by JEREMY WEBER
For the Eagle | February 1, 2024 10:10 AM


The Bigfork Land Use Advisory Committee heard from several concerned citizens at their meeting Thursday before voting unanimously to recommend the approval of a zone change request for land near Conifer Lane.

The request to change 26.66 acres from SAG10 (Suburban Agricultural) to SAG-5 (Suburban Agricultural) came from Sands Surveying, Inc. on behalf of Dana L. Kuzma.

According to Sands Surveying’s Donna Valade, who was representing Kuzma at the meeting, the zone change is requested in an effort to create five lots on the property. Valade said the family intends to sell one lot on the open market and retain the other four for family members.

Subdivision review will be required to include Environmental Health assessment on adequacy of water and wells if the project moves forward. 

In addition, a MDT review for road access; and DEQ approval are also required.

Without DEQ approval there would be no final plat. 

The existing CCRs on the land do not prohibit further subdividing of the subject lot, but Kuzma says she does not plan on utilizing clustering to add additional lots as she wants to keep the property within the family.

Kuzma stated that two lots will be gifted to her children, two lots sold to family members and one sold outright. Kuzma further stated that she has no intention to apply for a PUD overlay to cluster more lots on the parcel and she has no intention of establishing an HOA.

A number of concerns were brought up by people living near the property, including Carol Hill, who pointed out there is no room for additional mailboxes.

Cecelia Davis was concerned about road conditions, among other things.

“If the applicant’s property is not part of the CCRs, why do they have access to Conifer Lane,” she asked. “We do not want houses across the road from us or our views obstructed. The road cannot sustain development,  who will upgrade the road and who will pay as now limits the road width already?”

Brianna Rice says she opposes the zone change, citing density, overcrowding, impact on infrastructure, property values, resources, wildlife, and plant life.

Valade disputed the public’s concerns, stating “To deny the owner the zone change would not give the applicant the benefits that the other neighbors have.”

According to Valade, a subdivision application will address all road, septic and well issues and a dedicated mailbox kiosk will be at the subdivision access road.

If the zone change is approved by the county commissioners, the split would be considered a minor subdivision and would be considered only by the commissioners without input from BLUAC or the county planning board, something BLUAC member Jerry Sorensen objected to.

“This is an appropriate place for the zone change, but as a minor subdivision I do not support the lack of BLUAC and public input,” he said.

Despite the concerns, BLUAC voted unanimously to forward a favorable recommendation to the Planning Board, which will hear the application on Feb. 14, at 6 p.m. in the second-floor conference room of the South Campus Building, 40 11th Street West, Kalispell.