The Ugly Truth About Seating a Sanders County

Planning Board


Itís going to cost you in many ways. You can "Bank" on it!

The planning Board was voted down six years ago by you, the Citizens of Sanders County. There is no more reason now than then, for a Planning Board, Growth Policy, and Zoning laws. It is not a requirement. {MCA 76-1-101}

Supporters of Planning claim that we could write our own mild, non-intrusive Growth Policy and Zoning Law. On the other hand they do not know how to do it. They have said we don't have the expertise in Sanders County to write these documents to satisfy the law. Therefore they admit that the Planning Board will have to hire consultants to do this job, just as they did in neighboring Counties. Ravalli County officials hired Clarion and Associates, with offices in Chicago, Denver, etc. at a cost of $400,000 plus.

Montana Law does not require a Planning Board. But if voted in by You, it does require a Growth Policy and a timeline implementing mechanism, "Zoning". Anyone who informs you otherwise has not researched current State Laws. {MCA 76-1-601(3)(f)}

Zoning causes loss of property value and economic hardship:

"These regulations make development so expensive there will be nobody in Flathead County that can build affordable housing." Greg Carter Flathead Co.

"If you enact these regulations people like myself are going to pack up lock stock and barrel and move from of the valley. I've put in over $600,000 in wages into this valley in this year alone. I have property right now that if these regulations go through they will reduce the value of the property to less than what I owe the bank on it. So you leave me no choice, through my bank, to file suits against the county because I don't think you have a right to do that, because it's just stealing property." Doug Skoczek Flathead Co.

"We have 524 ft of prime Swan River Big Fork Bay waterfront. It's in a B3 zone. We have water, sewer, natural gas, electric cable, and telephone but with this setback of 200 ft on the Swan, my property (which is) only 135 ft deep is gone from development. The retirement I have worked hard all my life for is gone; my brother and his family's retirement is gone." Bill Meyers Flathead Co.

The 900-page "Flathead County Development Code" (FCDC) follow the Model Legislation published and promoted by the Montana Smart Growth Coalition (a branch of the American Planning Association out of Washington, DC) and was written by a "Smart Growth" consulting firm from Jackson, Wyoming. (Reference: FCDC, Aug. 1, 2007). If a Sanders County Planning Board is seated the chances of avoiding a "Smart Growth" zoning law are slim to none.

Planning is a good thing. Everyone plans their next day, their next trip or even their retirement. So lets refrain from adding more layers of government and retain our freedom of choice over our own private property.

Vote AGAINST the creation of a County wide Planning Board on June 3rd 2008

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