Concerns raised about 99-acre Rose Crossing development plan

September 19, 2018

Three speakers described for City Council Monday night a thorny present and even thornier future for Rose Crossing as continued development in North Kalispell transforms the once rural road into a thoroughfare.

The three expressed their concerns at a public hearing to solicit input about whether to allow the developers of Eagle Valley Ranch to change the designation of a portion of the development site from suburban residential to urban mixed use.

The speakers included Rose Crossing resident Debbie Street, Shannon Bartlett, whose family lives on Rose Bud Lane, and Mike Fraser, a consulting engineer hired by Street to study current traffic on Rose Crossing and to project future vehicle numbers.

Street, who is a real estate broker and developer, emphasized after the meeting that she does not oppose the Eagle Valley Ranch project.

Instead, she said she would like to see the city and county cooperate in a long-term transportation plan that would assess the traffic impacts on Rose Crossing of developments that include North Valley Town Center, Eagle Valley Ranch and Rosewater.

“It’s about public safety,” Street said. “We would like to see Eagle Valley Ranch conditioned for traffic experts to prepare a traffic impact study to include all of Rose Crossing from [U.S. 93 to U.S. 2].”

Fraser noted too that Rose Crossing has become an alternative to West Reserve Drive as a connector between U.S. 2 and U.S. 93. Among other users, he said, are people who work in Kalispell but live in Columbia Falls because of Kalispell’s higher housing costs.

As envisioned by the developers of Eagle Valley Ranch, Spartan Holdings LLC of California, the 99-acre site, formerly known as Valley Ranch, would feature 225 residential lots, 12 mixed-use office/residential lots and an apartment complex.

The developers seek the mixed-use designation for 41 of the 99 acres.

The proposed mixed-use development is along U.S. 93, south of the Ponderosa residential subdivision, east of the Northern Pines Golf Course and north of the Montana National Guard facilities.

On Aug. 14, the Kalispell Planning Board and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that city council amend Kalispell’s growth policy to allow the mixed-use portion of Eagle Valley Ranch.

On Monday, City Council heard from no one else about the Eagle Valley Ranch during the public hearing and took no action about the developers’ request for the mixed-use designation.

In other discussion or action Monday:

• Council unanimously approved the final plat for the Silverbrook subdivision on 18.3 acres on Church Drive.

• Council heard from resident Jim Cossitt who raised concerns about city employees citing their employment when endorsing political candidates. He asked council to consider adapting language in Montana law that would restrict such references. Cossitt is running for House District 7 in the upcoming November election against incumbent Rep. Frank Garner, R-Kalispell.

Reporter Duncan Adams may be reached at dadams@dailyinterlake.com or 758-4407.

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