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Stevensville residents worried about impacts from proposed Burnt Fork Estates

Burnt Fork Estates First Hearing
Posted at 9:07 AM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 11:18:17-05

STEVENSVILLE — Stevensville residents opened fire on a proposed housing development that could add hundreds to the town's population on Thursday evening.

They told the town council existing residents shouldn't have to pay for water, sewer and traffic improvements.

The Stevensville Town Council began what is scheduled as two nights of hearings for the proposed Burnt Fork Estates -- one of the largest developments to be proposed in the Bitterroot in several years.

Developers want to construct 78 single-family lots adjacent to Creekside Meadows and 43 multi-family lots further south, with a rezone for 16 light commercial lots on the southeast edge of town.

The Planning Board already gave its endorsement in January, generally finding no fault with the project.

But residents are upset, saying traffic studies are flawed, and there's no reason to move commercial business outside downtown Stevensville.

Most are worried the subdivision will mean they'll have to shell out millions to handle the extra sewer and water demand.

"If the town well field can not meet the current and committed demand it is apparent that a new will be needed to ensure that there is water to meet the demands of Burnt Fork Estates," said Creekside Meadow resident Marsha Kalkofen. "Do you citizens of Stevensville want to pick up all those costs? You'd better speak out."

The Stevensville Town Council was scheduled to continue the hearing in person, and online, Monday evening. Those details and information about the project are on the town's website.