Friday, December 08, 2023

Something to think about

| May 12, 2005 12:00 AM

We could learn a lot by observing closely what is happening in the Flathead Valley and begin discussions now while we can exert control in a positive fashion.

Flathead County has been struggling through a contentious planning process to deal with the impacts of the growth and development people are experiencing.

Listen to what the county commissioners are saying over there and you will hear them contradicting themselves in the same sentence. That's because the issue is so difficult.

And it's best attacked before growth reaches the stage that it negatively impacts quality of life and actually increases the overall expense of local services.

It doesn't make it any easier that so many opposing factions exist on the issue and harsh rhetoric has been thrown around so much that those groups can barely tolerate each other's presence.

We've had the sprawl for some time and it continues to expand both commercially and residentially in the Libby area. The physical shape of our valley and available land plays a big role in that. But better planning would have the infrastructure develop in an organized fashion to keep up with that growth.

What's the benefit? It's a lot cheaper for all of us and there would be some control over the impacts both aesthetically and otherwise.

Look at the Johnson Acres project within the city. A large neighborhood was allowed to exist while the city evolved around it. It would have been less expensive for that area to have evolved with the rest of the city surrounding it.

That's just a microcosm of what is happening in the sprawling areas around the city. Sooner or later we will have to deal with it - just like the present air quality issue. The difference is there won't be national organizations or federal grants available to bail us out.

Hence the need for considering the future. - Roger Morris