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Ridgewater subdivision adhering to timeline

POLSON – After discussion with commissioners and developers, a legal review of the proposed subdivision’s master plan will be conducted within the original time frame for the project.

At last week’s commission meeting, City Manager Mark Shrives proposed that an attorney look over the conditions of approval for the Ridgewater Subdivision master plan. The conditions have been edited by City Planner Kyle Roberts, project developer Mike Maddy, and realtor Dennis Duty over the last 11 months. The changes that have been made simplified and shortened the conditions of approval for the proposed subdivision. 

Shrives said he planned to ask the City-County Planning Board for a two-month extension on the master plan so that land use attorney Susan Swimley could review the conditions for legal discrepancies.

Maddy and Duty, who said they had been informed of the development just before the meeting, expressed frustration over the delay in the timeline of the project.

“It feels like we’re getting blindsided at the last minute,” said Duty.

Maddy said he thought if Swimley were involved, it would cause a legal battle. He said that he would rather discard the newly developed conditions in favor of the old ones than involve Swimley.

“She’s very contentious, and she’s an anti-subdivision attorney,” Maddy said.

Members of the commission expressed their desire for a lawyer to review the conditions. “This is a major concern for the city,” Mayor Paul Briney said.

Commissioner Brodie Moll proposed that the city hire another attorney to look at the document. Shrives replied that it was difficult to find a land use attorney who would do the work. Duty recommended an attorney who he thought would be less likely to challenge the conditions.

The commissioners agreed that both Swimley and the lawyer recommended by Duty should review the conditions with a deadline of Oct. 8. This timeline will allow the original timeline for the project to proceed without an extension.

At the same meeting, commissioners voted to send a letter to the Lake County Board of Commissioners regarding re-zoning. The letter will point out that proposed changes to zoning regulations will create a discrepancy between city zoning and county zoning in areas around the city of Polson. This could lead to non-conforming lots in areas that could be annexed into the city of Polson.

City Manager Mark Shrives announced that he would meet with the Ronan Police Chief, the Tribal Police Chief and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council to address county officials about problems with prosecution of drug offenders. “Apparently it’s the same issue across the board,” Shrives said of drug-related problems in nearby communities.

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