Sunday, January 16, 2022

Irresponsible development

| December 1, 2021 1:00 AM

There is a new development proposed for Big Mountain Road in Whitefish.

This is not affordable housing. The developers would like you to believe it is, but when asked directly what the units would rent for, they said “it would depend on construction costs, which are going up daily.” They have no intention of reducing their profits by providing apartments for less than market value.

A lawyer spoke at a city planning meeting last month and made a very good observation. The developers can say anything they want about what they are going to, but once they get the zoning change and approval from the city, they can do anything (or nothing) they want. Which means all the promises about walking paths, bike lanes and parks could all go up in smoke.

I have lived on Big Mountain for 32 years. I frequently see the traffic backed up past my driveway during ski season.

This summer the traffic was regularly backed up over the viaduct from the intersection of Second Street and U.S. 93, and that was without any Canadians in town. They project the proposed development could put another 500-700 cars on Wisconsin/East Lakeshore Drive. It would be extremely irresponsible and dangerous to add that much traffic to our already overburdened infrastructure.

What happens if there is a fire on Big Mountain? Or any other emergency? It would be literally impossible for emergency vehicles to get through in an effective and timely manner.

This is not about “Not in my back yard.” This is about dangerous and irresponsible development.

Barbara Janni, Whitefish

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