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Steamboat Landing subdivision back before county board

by HEIDI DESCH
Daily Inter Lake | May 8, 2024 12:00 AM

The Flathead County Planning Board on Wednesday will return to a proposed subdivision that could add 252 residential units to Somers.

The board in March tabled the Steamboat Landing project asking the developer to investigate traffic mitigation options for the development planned for 63.79 acres adjacent to Somers Middle School. 

The Planning Board meets at 6 p.m. in the South Campus Building at 40 11th St. W. in Kalispell. Four other items also appear on the agenda. 

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. 

Access to the lots would be from new internal subdivision roads via Sunnybrook Lane and Somers Road. During the March meeting, several neighbors told the Planning Board they worried about the increase in traffic on already busy roads, particularly near the school, and the high density of the project.

Following the meeting, the developer submitted to the county an updated traffic impact study, a revised environmental assessment and phasing plan. County commissioners last month determined that a public hearing would be held before the Planning Board on the new information. 

The updated traffic impact study shows the subdivision would generate 2,226 new daily vehicle trips and notes that as the area continues to develop it will “become necessary to provide improved access and enhance safety at the approaches” onto Montana 82. 

It says based on discussions with the Montana Department of Transportation it would be most desirable to install a traffic signal at the intersection of Montana 82 and Somers Road. Traffic would also need to be concentrated at the signal by restricting left-turn movements at the intersection of Montana 82 and School Addition Road. 

“Somers Road currently experiences higher levels of daily traffic than School Addition Road and also provides access both north and south of Montana 82, which is a benefit when planning locations for a traffic signal,” the study concludes. 

A revised phasing plan for the subdivision proposes roadway improvements be completed as part of the second phase of the subdivision. Estimated completion date for the first phase is 2025, the second is 2027 and the final fifth phase is 2033. 

Based on the updated information, new conditions of approval for the subdivision are recommended by county planning staff to require that the developer install northbound left-turn restriction infrastructure on School Addition Road at the intersection with Montana 82 and that a traffic signal be installed at Somers Road. 

FOUR PUBLIC hearings are also scheduled. 

A zone change request from TMS Ventures, LLC, will be considered for a parcel located at 540 Grand Drive, Bigfork. The proposal would change zoning from B-3 community business to R-4 two-family residential. The property is just under an acre. 

A zone change request from CFT35555, LLC, will be considered for 3555 U.S. 93 North near Kalispell from B-1 neighborhood/professional business to I-1 light industrial. The acreage involved is 0.69 acres. 

A preliminary plat request from C&J Land Development, LLC is requesting for Bitterroot Flats West, a proposal to create four residential lots on 40.35 acres at 336 Lower Lost Prairie Road. 

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