Evergreen subdivision gets Planning Board approval

November 18, 2018

The Flathead County Planning Board on Wednesday voted to recommend approval of a proposed 109-lot residential subdivision off West Evergreen Drive near Evergreen Junior High School.

The project, West Evergreen Estates, passed with a 5-2 vote and will be forwarded to the county commissioner for a final decision. The proposed development would consist of single-family residences on nearly 34 acres.

West Evergreen Estates was considered by the Planning Board earlier this year when project applicants Michael V. Seaman and Garry Seaman proposed a 122-lot mobile-home subdivision. That proposal was shot down in May after the Board of Adjustment rejected a conditional-use permit needed to push the project forward.

The originally proposed mobile-home park was opposed by many neighbors who expressed concerns over a potential increase in local traffic and decreasing home values should the development continue.

“There wasn’t nearly as much concern expressed by residents for the new proposal,” Flathead County Planning Director Mark Mussman said. “The overarching concern is that there will be an increase in traffic.”

However, along with the new West Evergreen Estates proposal, applicants submitted a detailed traffic impact study from Abelin Traffic Services. According to the study, the development “would not create any new transportation-related issues in the area and no road improvements projects are needed to support the development.”

“While a lot of residents have talked about traffic, they actually brought in professionals who created their own report,” Mussman said.

The applicants also proposed a utility easement through the center of the property that would provide easy access to the nearby Evergreen school. According to the applicants, a bike path would also be constructed from the subdivision to school property to satisfy safety concerns from the school district.

Mussman estimates the next evaluation of the proposal by the commissioners will occur mid-December.

Reporter Kianna Gardner may be reached at 758-4439 or kgardner@dailyinterlake.com.

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