Major subdivision proposed east of C-Falls

Print Article

The Columbia Falls Planning Board on Tuesday will hold a public hearing for the first major subdivision to be proposed in that planning jurisdiction in several years.

The Benches would include 48 single-family homes and 30 short-term rental resort cabins on 55.4 acres of undeveloped pasture land, with a mix of forest and meadow area, just east of the Flathead River Bridge off U.S. 2 on the south side of the highway.

The developer, Prairie Dog Development, LLC, of Whitefish, is asking for planned-unit development approval in concert with a preliminary plat, according to the Columbia Falls Planning Office staff report. The project would be similar to the North Forty Resort, located west of Columbia Falls on Montana 40, the report said.

In this case, the planned-unit development would be used to create the resort cabin component of the development. The PUD allows up to 10 percent of the overall property to be used for a commercial purpose, or in this case a resort residential purpose, according to the report. The resort residential lot created for the cabins is 4.1 acres, or 7.4 percent of the land area.

“Without the PUD, the underlying CR-3 zoning would not allow multiple cabins on a single lot of record,” the staff report notes.

The PUD requires 30% of the site to be set aside as open space/common area, which allows some of the development, such as the cabins, to be clustered on a small portion of the property.

The Columbia Falls Growth Policy map shows the proposed site as suitable for urban residential development, which would allow residential development on parcels of two to eight units per acre.

The growth policy, which recently was updated, also recommends special consideration for sensitive areas such as those found in the semi-marsh land areas in the northwest portion of the site and along the shared ridgeline extending to the east.

“The plan proposes that with the exception of road crossings these wetland areas be set aside as undisturbed open space,” the staff report states.

The developer proposes to fill about 0.29 acres of wetlands to make the road crossings from U.S. 2 into the development. This will require a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Biologist Jessy Coltrane has expressed opposition to the development because of its potential impact to the wetlands and associated wildlife, the staff report notes.

The city staff recommends approval of the housing development with 10 conditions that set parameters for landscaping, underground utilities, exterior lighting that conforms to dark sky standards and preservation of existing trees, among other requirements.

The subdivision would use individual septic systems that would need county and state review and approval prior to final plat, and its own public water system.

The Bad Rock Fire Department chief has requested a 30,000-gallon tanker recharge be constructed on-site as a condition of subdivision approval.

The Columbia Falls Planning Board meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the council chambers in City Hall. The board’s recommendation will be forwarded to the City Council for consideration at its Oct. 7 meeting.

News Editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or

Print Article

Read More Local News

Submerged stolen vehicle retrieved from Flathead River

February 28, 2020 at 11:22 am | Daily Inter Lake Flathead County officials pulled a stolen pickup truck out of the Flathead River Friday morning at the Old Steel Bridge fishing access site. According to Flathead County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Aa...


Read More

Judge won’t toss police chief lawsuit against Goguen

February 28, 2020 at 11:17 am | Daily Inter Lake A lawsuit filed by Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial against Whitefish businessman and philanthropist Michael Goguen will go forward. Flathead District Court Judge Robert B. Allison on Thursday denie...


Read More

Graybill ruled eligible to run for attorney general

February 28, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Daily Inter Lake Raph Graybill was ruled fully eligible to run for the Democratic nomination for Montana attorney general on Friday, after a complaint filed in early February questioned whether Graybill met the quali...


Read More

Grant jump-starts new program for at-risk foster teens

February 28, 2020 at 5:00 am | Lake County Leader Eighteen is often an uncertain age for teens, and it can be an exceptionally frightening time for youth in foster care. As these teens become adults they can suddenly be left with nothing. The case ...


Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2020 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy