LETTER: Concerns Over Water Ski Subdivision

By Beacon Staff

As a longtime resident and homeowner on Rose Crossing, my neighbors and I are deeply concerned about the proposed manmade water ski lake and Rosewater subdivision planned for our area. Our concerns deal with the PUD overlay on the property that is zoned SAG-5; and the safety and suitability of this type of development with regards to our groundwater, the type of soil in the area, the juxtaposition to the Whitefish River; and the impact that noise and increased traffic will have on our road and in our neighborhood.

Here are some of those questions and concerns:

1. Nearly all of the residents in the Rose Crossing area have lived here for many years. The newest home/landowners were under the impression that the area would remain SAG5. We chose this area because we want to live in a rural environment with all the advantages that come with that designation. How do 46 single-family homes and 12 townhouses designated as a major subdivision fit into this designation?

2. This proposed subdivision will use five wastewater onsite treatment systems. How will this wastewater and runoff from the 58 lot residential subdivision affect the groundwater, the springs, the highly erodable sandy soil, and the Whitefish River banks, cliffs and water?

3. The proposed 27-acre manmade water ski lake will hold 41 million gallons of water. The proposal is to pump water from the Whitefish River into this lake on a regular basis. The answer to our question as to how the water will be pumped out of the lake when the liner has to be repaired or replaced has not been thoroughly or responsibly addressed.

4. At the Planning Board meeting the board modified the 31 conditions suggested by the planning staff for the subdivision, including the removal of the need for the state departments of the DEQ, FWP and DNRC to approve this PUD. This includes the manmade lake. Does the planning board also want to exclude the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers? If so, what is the future plan when this polluted water has to be discharged?

5. Right now, there are two manmade lakes that we are aware of, one in California and one in Colorado, that have liners that have failed. Both of them are in a lawsuit and a long and contested battle over who is responsible for the repair of the liner and the subsequent damage to the homes and yards in the area. So, my question is: Will the future Homeowner’s Association make it clear and contractual, that the costs of maintenance, repair and replacement to the common areas of the Rosewater Subdivision, including the manmade lake, will fall solely on the homeowners of this subdivision and not on Flathead County

6. How will Flathead County prepare for traffic and subsequent noise increase on Rose Crossing? We already have a major problem with traffic backed up on Reserve three times a day. Shouldn’t the county take care of this current traffic situation without incurring more problems on our rural road?

Let it be understood, I am not against competition water skiing, the lakes required for the sport, or the sport itself. I am not against development or growth in the Flathead Valley. I am for development that is well planned and has regard for the future, consideration for those who call this place our home, and preservation of the natural beauty and resources that make this lovely area unique and like no other place.

Jane Burleson

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