Jen and I spent last weekend camping in the Rock Creek canyon. Rock creek is known as a "blue-ribbon" fly-fishing destination, and for the last few years residents have been engaged in battles to keep the sprawl emanating from nearby Missoula at bay.
An out-of-state (big stigma around here) developer bought a ranch a few years back, and attempted to subdivide it into a low-density neighborhood. The residents of the canyon beefed up the Rock Creek Protective Association and sought to legally prevent the development from happening. The trouble is that zoning really shouldn't be done retroactively.
The Missoulian set up the two positions of the debate like this:
"Residents all over western Montana are facing just what Rock Creek residents did - a subdivision they don't like, a developer who doesn't care, a design that doesn't fit their neighborhood and that threatens the wildlife and environment they love, Menson [president of RCPA] said.
Developers are facing what Barnes did - buying land in good faith, following laws and land-use patterns, then facing the veto power of neighbors who want to protect what they have at the expense of someone else, McCormick [lawyer for the developer] said."
Now there is a newer development, the Ridge above Rock Creek, that is being constructed here. It is being advertised as providing the "true Western Montana Lifestyle." Perusing the website reminds me of the line that Jim Kunstler repeats often, that the suburbs promise a country lifestyle but really give a cartoon of the country lifestyle.
Monday, October 15
Posted by Daniel Nairn at 12:48 PM