The Flathead County Planning Board gave the green light for a 57-lot residential development near Raceway Park to move on to the Flathead County Commission, with a positive recommendation from the board.
The Montana Raceway Subdivision, proposed by Thornton Motorsports LLC, would encompass about 40 acres of land located west of U.S. Highway 93, about a half-mile north of Kalispell city limits.
Of the proposed 40 acres, about 26 would be used for lots, with 7.3 acres of open space proposed and 4.1 designated as park space. The applicants also propose drilling two wells for the subdivision’s water, and each lot would have septic tanks with a shared drain field.
The subdivision is designed for a three-phase build out, with phase one slated for 2020, phase two in 2022, and the final phase three in 2025.
The area would also have an R-1 Residential Planned Unit Development overlay, which would allow the subdivision to deviate from the minimum lot size requirements of the Suburban Residential zone. This means the proposed development density would be one dwelling per half-acre.
Initially, the planning board was supposed to discuss the subdivision in January, but the developers opted to put the process on hold while they adjusted their plan to account for parkland requirements, stormwater runoff, septic, and access.
Access was the main subject of discussion at the May 10 meeting. While the updated plan shows a widened road with a median, the secondary or emergency access road is planned for the subdivision at the northeast corner where it connects to McDermott Lane before entering the subdivision.
Neither the planning office nor the Flathead County Road and Bridge Department considered that road secondary due to its congruence with the main road, though the planning board decided that wasn’t a big deal since Highway 93 is located nearby and the adjacent lands are fields.
Flathead County Planning Director Mark Mussman suggested the planning board discuss the effect the subdivision would have on traffic, with an extra 565 vehicles a day expected and an uncontrolled intersection with Highway 93.
“That, to me, would perhaps merit a little board discussion,” Mussman said.
The board decided that if emergency services personnel didn’t have concerns about the access road and the traffic, then it would not have concerns either.
The PUD overlay passed with a positive recommendation by a vote of 6-3, and the subdivision received a positive recommendation with a 7-2 vote, and both were forwarded to the Flathead County Commission for a final decision.
The county commission has not yet set a date for that hearing.