Hole in city, county lakeshore rules being exploited

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A flaw in our lakeshore rules is being exploited by an out-of-town developer. Current city and county rules state that no structures can be built within 20 feet of the high water mark, but existing structures can be repaired.

At the north end of Monk’s Bay, near the intersection of Big Mountain Road and East Lakeshore Drive, Joe Gregory applied to the county to repair three structures which all overhang the high water mark by several feet. The permit allows making necessary repairs. All three buildings were completely demolished. New construction replaced the existing structures, including the foundations and on up. Two are now two-story cabins, which wasn’t the case prior to demolition.

It is distressing that this developer has chosen to game our lakeshore rules (that allow repair) to build new buildings in the forbidden zone. These would not have been permitted by the city or the county, except by vague wording in the application and loose interpretation of the rules. Incidentally, these repairs were permitted by the county, but now are under city jurisdiction with the recent annexation.

Mr. Gregory is moving forward on his 38-acre development in our residential-zoned neighborhood, for which plans have not been submitted. We oppose the rule-bending approach we are witnessing.

The new buildings are visible from City Beach and Monk’s Bay, and can be seen up close by walking on the frozen lake. We urge comments to the city and county officials.

Blaine Wright, Whitefish

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