Proposed Waterski Subdivision Sent Back to Planning Committee

By Beacon Staff

A proposed development featuring a man-made waterski lake near Evergreen is delayed over concerns about noise pollution and water quality. Flathead County commissioners approved a planned unit development (PUD) request for the project but sent the preliminary plat request back to the planning board during a March 25 meeting.

The Rosewater Subdivision is a 154-acre development that would include 46 single-family lots and 12 townhouse lots. It would be located along Rose Crossing and Whitefish Stage Road. At the heart of the proposal is a 27-acre artificial waterski lake filled with water drawn from the nearby Whitefish River.

“This proposed subdivision is not a new concept, it can be found in many places in the United States,” said developer Bill Tanner of Score Management, LLC.

But some of the nearly two-dozen people who attended the public hearing on March 25 said they are concerned about the potential effects of the development, especially noise pollution from boats and possible water contamination inside the man-made lake that they say could seep through the liner to the groundwater or river.

The new waterway would sit about 950 feet away from the Whitefish River.

“I’ve lived in the valley for 75 years and I’ve seen a lot of subdivisions, but this has to be one of the biggest debacles I’ve ever seen,” said Ron Thibert during the public comment period. “It’s not if it will leak, it’s when will it leak.”

There were also supporters of the project. Zac Andrews, who works in real estate in Bigfork, said the development would provide affordable waterfront property to the area.

“It offers something that is needed here,” he said. “Legitimate recreational opportunities on the water without having to buy expensive property on a lake or river.”

Another public hearing will be held on the development in May.

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