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Scott proposes residential development near Libby golf course

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | October 15, 2021 7:00 AM

Lincoln County commissioners approved a preliminary plat agreement for a roughly 70-acre subdivision south of the Cabinet View Golf Club proposed by Libby dentist and cross-country ski enthusiast Ben Scott on Oct. 13.

The Nordic Way Subdivision would include 10 lots for single- family detached residential homes. Eight of the lots would be less than five acres while the remaining two would be just over 20 acres. The lots would come with septic systems, retention ponds and wells, according to documents filed with the county.

The development will include parkland and a trail with a public access easement that would connect to trail systems in the Flower Creek area and the Cabinet View Golf Course.

Developers expect the subdivision would result in small increases in local and non-local traffic.

The property, which is accessible from Granite Lake and Snowshoe roads, is currently undeveloped timberland with open spaces.

“I think it’s a fabulous design,” said Kristin Smith, who temporarily is serving as the county’s planner. “It conforms with all our goals for development outside of city limits.”

Mild confusion arose over who would be responsible for the cost of installing water tanks for firefighting efforts. Scott said he understood the Lincoln County Rural Fire District No. 1 would pay for the 10,000 to 15,000-gallon tanks.

“The way they explained it is that once [the subdivision] is annexed into the fire district, those taxes that are taken then remunerate them for the cost of the tanks,” said Scott.

But regulations dictate that the developer is required to pay for the work, according to Smith.

Ensuring water sources are included as developments go up has been an issue for the county. On past projects, developers have made unfulfilled promises to put in water supplies after completing their subdivisions.

“It never gets done. And we’ve got subdivisions out there that don’t have fire protection,” said County Commissioner Brent Teske (D-1).

Commissioner Josh Letcher (D-3) noted that Scott and the rural district could still work out a deal to finance the tanks. To iron out the matter, Commissioner Jerry Bennett (D-2) recommended bringing representatives from the fire district.

Commissioners clarified in the subdivision documentation that Scott would have to install or bond the installation of the water tanks.

Letcher offered a motion and Teske provided a second. The vote was unanimous.