No appeal on cabin plan

Ranchers go before hearing examiner


m6bud.gif (8902 bytes)Picabo landowners seeking to build three hunting cabins on Silver Creek for their guest ranch will submit to the county hearing process prescribed by Blaine County Commissioners last Monday.

"If a positive attitude can be maintained by all of us, I will be happy to not further pursue that matter legally," Nick Purdy wrote to the commissioners last week.

The commissioners denied Nick and Bud Purdy’s appeal after a planner told the applicants they must go though a county review process for conditional use of agricultural land.

The Purdys and lawyer Ed Lawson had contemplated court action after the commissioners denied the first appeal.

The cabins, the Purdys said at the time, would be accessory dwelling units and should only need a building permit.

The commissioners disagreed, and told the applicants they had to go through a county review process.

"I don’t like massaging ordinances for applicants’ [benefit]," Commissioner Dennis Wright said.

The Purdys planned to replace a cattle feedlot with the three, 2,000-square-foot guest cabins for private use near Silver Creek.

The Nature Conservancy holds a private conservation easement agreement with the Purdys on the 7.5 acres where the cabins would be constructed.

The conservancy has offered to amend to the original 1995 deed with the Purdys to accommodate the cabins.

"The changes will improve the purpose of the conservation easement," wrote Silver Creek area manager Paul Todd to the county P&Z office. He cited improvements to Silver Creek’s water quality and fish habitat if the feedlot is removed.

The new Blaine County hearing examiner, attorney Jill Eschman, will consider the matter instead of the planning and zoning commission, as was originally planned. The change follows a resolution passed Monday by the commissioners to expand her responsibilities.

 

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