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61-lot subdivision proposed near Libby

| August 5, 2005 12:00 AM

By STEVE KADEL Western News Reporter

A public hearing will be held Monday, Aug. 8, on a proposed 61-lot residential subdivision on the west side of Libby. The session begins at 7 p.m. in the Lincoln County courthouse annex, 418 Mineral Ave.

Jim Beasley is seeking to subdivide the 19-acre property known as Creekview Estates, which is located east of Hamann Avenue, West Horseshoe Drive and East Horseshoe Drive.

Libby City Council members discussed the project during their Monday meeting, but took no action. However, the council did vote unanimously to advise Lincoln County Commissioners that they would accept Hamann Avenue from current county ownership to facilitate the project.

Mayor Tony Berget said Commissioner Rita Windom had sought clarification from the city as to whether it would take over road maintenance. Berget noted that the informational vote would not put the property under city control.

"We would still have to go through the annexation process," he said.

Hamann Avenue resident Judy Stuckey spoke against the development, saying it would change the character of the neighborhood, where there currently are 15 homes on Hamann.

"I think the impact would be greater than we're thinking about," she said.

Al Pennock, who also lives on Hamann Avenue, told the council he also objects to the development. Pennock said he fears for the safety of children crossing U.S. Highway 2 due to increased traffic the subdivision would bring.

"A subdivision with 60 houses will increase traffic tenfold," he said.

"I agree with Mr. Pennock," council member Stu Crismore said.

In a document required by state law for environmental assessment, the developer noted that Hamann and Second Street are used primarily by local residents living near the streets.

"Both streets should be capable of handling the extra traffic which will be generated by the subdivision," according to the document. "Some traffic signs may be required to control traffic in and

near the subdivision to safeguard children in the area."

About 3,200 feet of new road will be built to service the subdivision, the document added. It says lots can be accessed from Hamann and "other access will be provided by new construction of local roads within the subdivision."

Lincoln County planner Ken Peterson said he will prepare an assessment of the project that will speak to the traffic issue, as well as giving a recommendation to the commissioners for project approval or denial.