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Proposed Somers subdivision back before county planning board

by HEIDI DESCH
Daily Inter Lake | July 10, 2024 12:00 AM

The Flathead County Planning Board on Wednesday will examine updates to a proposed subdivision located near Somers Middle School. The proposal calls for 252 residential units.  

The board in March first looked at the Steamboat Landing project planned for 63.79 acres.  The developer has since submitted additional information regarding the project prompting the board to hold additional public hearings on the request.  

The county Planning Board meets at 6 p.m. in the South Campus Building at 40 11th St. W. in Kalispell. Recommendations from the Planning Board regarding the requests are forwarded to the Flathead County commissioners for final consideration. 

Somers Project, LLC and Somers Property, LLC are requesting a preliminary plat for Steamboat Landing, which is proposed to include 180 single-family homes and 72 condo units. The property is not zoned and contains several outbuildings in the southeastern portion.   

Concerns about the effect of increased traffic prompted the Planning Board to table the proposal. The developer returned saying that based on discussions with Montana Department of Transportation it would be desirable to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Montana 82 and Somers Road.  

Now, the developer is returning with information regarding the former Burlington Northern Tie Plant to the south owned by BNSF Railway and designated as a Superfund site in 1984 due to contamination in the groundwater and soils from operations to treat wood ties. Concerns were raised during public comment about the proximity to the former tie plant.  

Roger Hooherheide, remedial project manager with the Environmental Protection Agency, in an email said that the proposed development is outside the Superfund site boundaries. The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation placed a controlled groundwater area designation on the site prohibiting groundwater supply well installation.  

A new well through the Somers Water & Sewer District is required to serve the subdivision. The Somers water district told the county that the new well would be located off-site.  

The Planning Board will hold a public hearing on the most recent update.  

The subdivision is planned to be developed in phases. Estimated completion date for the first phase is 2025, the second is 2027 and the final fifth phase is 2033.   

The board will also look at a zone change request from WF Properties, LLC for 5640 U.S. 93 near Whitefish. The proposal would change the zoning on the property from SAG-5 and highway overlay to business service district and highway overlay. The property is 9.38 acres.  

The board will consider a request from Victor Serov for a zone change at 1244 S. Wintercrest Drive near Kalispell. The proposal would change zoning on 5 acres from SAG-10 to R-2.5.  

The board will look at a zone change from the Osborne Family Trust for 64 Eagle Creek Trail near Whitefish for 1 acre. The zone change requested is from SAG-10 suburban agriculture to R-1 suburban residential. 

The board is considering a request from Alyce Sandholdt for a zone change for 301 Kacu Lane near Kalispell on 10 acres. The proposal would change the zoning from SAG-10 to SAG-5.  

Deputy Editor Heidi Desch may be reached at 758-4421 or hdesch@dailyinterlake.com.