Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) A small subdivision in the Target Range neighborhood may get a second chance at review based on new information regarding the migration of the Bitterroot River.

The Creighton subdivision, located at Third Street and Clements Road, was unanimously recommended for denial by the Consolidated Planning Board last year. The proposal was set to go before county commissioners on Thursday for final consideration.

“The issue that came up with this was the channel migration zone and the erosion hazard, which we felt was fairly substantial at this location,” county planner Tim Worley said Monday. “What's been requested now is an additional two-month delay to finish up some research on the geotechnical underpinnings to make the case that this is a safe place to do a residential subdivision.”

The project's applicant, Creighton Appraisals represented by Ken Jenkins of Montana Northwest Co., said new information regarding channel migration will be available in June.

Jenkins said the findings could be favorable for the project.

“It's new information, not just for the commissioners but also the planning board,” Jenkins said. “A lot is unknown at this point until we get this information before the commissioners. Right now, it's not for public consumption just yet.”

As proposed, the project would subdivide around 12 acres into eight residential lots. A single utility lot would contain a sewage disposal system while a water system will provide the development potable water.

County staff was prepared Thursday to recommend denial of the project due to the erosion hazard. However, the county will postpone Thursday's hearing until June when the new information becomes available.

“We'll have to evaluate the new information,” Worley said.