LETTER: Time for County to Resume Doughnut Zoning

By Beacon Staff

It’s been several weeks since Judge David Ortley’s decision. In 2008, it only took the county seven weeks to adopt interim zoning. Had the county moved promptly to begin zoning of the doughnut after the decision, we doughnut folks now would be free of Whitefish’s tyranny.

It is imperative that you show Whitefish with your actions that you are committed enough to us doughnut folks that you are willing to expend time and resources to return us to your jurisdiction.

We have heard that the county attorney’s office has recommended that you not act until the Supreme Court rules. Not only does stalling give the wrong impression to Whitefish and the courts that you are not fully committed to this takeover, it isn’t fair to us.

There have been at least four different assistant county attorneys assigned to the doughnut case, and these new lawyers are understandably unfamiliar with this dispute’s long history. They don’t appear to grasp the need for leadership when the opportunity arises. Nor do they understand everyone’s profound frustration after we worked hard for a year to settle the case, only to have Whitefish renege and support a referendum to gut the efforts of Jim Dupont and many others.

We in the doughnut have been living this nightmare of no representation since the signing of the original 2005 IA. Judge Ortley’s ruling now says that the county can resume zoning and planning for the doughnut. There is no downside to proceeding (nearly all the staff work has been done), and much upside. There is no argument to justify further delay.

Please direct the planning office to move forward so that my civil, constitutional and property rights are respected. I can vote for you and yet you seem reluctant to take action to liberate us, while Whitefish “represents” us in objectionable ways, yet we cannot vote for them. This is a “donut conundrum.”

Please direct the planning office to pursue interim zoning for the donut immediately.

Thank you for your public service.

Rick Blake