Friday, December 03, 2021

Letters to the editor Nov. 25

| November 25, 2021 12:00 AM

Venture less boldly

I feel compelled to write this letter after reading the article about the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce’s new program called “Venture Boldly, a new campaign for marketing the town.” It states that “Kalispell is poised for growth. We couldn’t stop it even if we wanted to.”

What? The chamber wants us to believe that we have absolutely no control over the growth of our city? It seems that a lot of people want us to believe that any and all out of control growth is a great thing. I would strongly disagree. I think there are planning boards and building permits that can slow growth. There are conservation easements and there can be less push to advertise the area.

We have experienced unprecedented growth in Flathead County. We are seeing our farmlands paved over; unprecedented property price increases; property tax increases that are pricing lower income people out of their homes; being basically shut out of Glacier National Park; traffic jams and road rage; losing open space and woodlands for peaceful walks and wildlife; and a general degradation of the quality of our lives.

Enough is enough. Let’s put the brakes on!

And yet, the chamber, Discover Kalispell and Glacier National Park are doing all they can to encourage more growth, more visitation, more building, more traffic, more road rage, more stress, and a reduced quality of life.

We need to change this head-on run toward the destruction of our part of the Last Best Place. Part of that, sadly, is already gone. Do we want to lose it all?

— Brenda Corbin, Kalispell

Irresponsible development

There is a new development proposed for Big Mountain Road in Whitefish.

This is not affordable housing. The developers would like you to believe it is, but when asked directly what the units would rent for, they said “it would depend on construction costs, which are going up daily.” They have no intention of reducing their profits by providing apartments for less than market value.

A lawyer spoke at a city planning meeting last month and made a very good observation. The developers can say anything they want about what they are going to, but once they get the zoning change and approval from the city, they can do anything (or nothing) they want. Which means all the promises about walking paths, bike lanes and parks could all go up in smoke.

I have lived on Big Mountain for 32 years. I frequently see the traffic backed up past my driveway during ski season.

This summer the traffic was regularly backed up over the viaduct from the intersection of Second Street and U.S. 93, and that was without any Canadians in town. They project the proposed development could put another 500-700 cars on Wisconsin/East Lakeshore Drive. It would be extremely irresponsible and dangerous to add that much traffic to our already overburdened infrastructure.

What happens if there is a fire on Big Mountain? Or any other emergency? It would be literally impossible for emergency vehicles to get through in an effective and timely manner.

This is not about “Not in my back yard.” This is about dangerous and irresponsible development.

— Barbara Janni, Whitefish