Flathead Lake arial

KALISPELL, Mont. – Some Flathead County residents are up in arms after a petition started circulating online claiming there are plans to build an amusement park along the west shore of Flathead Lake.

Lake County Commissioner Bill Barron wants to put that rumor to rest. "The information in that petition is not accurate," Barron said Thursday.

The Chang.org petition had the following information listed Thursday afternoon:

"Plans of an Amusement Park to be built on Flathead Lake less than a week away from approval on April 14th. As a resident, few of my neighbors were notified of this development a week ago, most of us finding out in the last 24 hours. This amusement park, water park, etc. would extend from the entrance across from West Shore State Park all the way to table bay on the mountainside. Montana residents have not been allowed to have their voice heard on a project that would have such adverse effects on the quality of life in the Flathead Valley," Tessa Kiesz wrote.

However, the rezoning request in question is not as extreme. According to a staff report provided by the Lake County Commissioners office, landowner Torsten Wedel is requesting to amend the language of the Upper West Shore Zoning District to allow outdoor commercial use.

The amendment reads:

"Intended use is to provide recreational outdoor activities or sports for a fee in the natural environment, not in a building or indoor facility. Examples of land uses that qualify under this definition are activities that produce zero emissions such as: nature observation areas, axe throwing, outdoor tactical laser tag and miniature golf, gem mining, rope courses and zip lines, summer day camps, tubing hills, or mountain rides."

The zoning amendment also provides a list of examples that would not be allowed under the rezoning. If this rezoning is passed the land owner would not be allowed to build swimming pools, waterslides, waterparks, campgrounds, RV parks, ski-resorts, or any other commercial resorts.

"Basically he's not allowed to build a Silverwood or anything," Commissioner Barron added over the phone.

The petition also claims a final decision will be made on April 14, but Barron clarified that date marks the beginning of the planning process. The county planning board will hold a public meeting on April 14 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom to discuss Wedel’s zoning request, along with other zoning requests.

On Friday, the petition had been updated to read:

"Plans of an Amusement Park to be built on Flathead Lake less than a week away from beginning the planning process on April 14th. As a resident, few of my neighbors were notified of this development a week ago, most of us finding out in the last 24 hours. This amusement park would extend across the bend from West Shore State Park all the way to table bay on the mountainside. Montana residents have not been allowed to have their voice heard on a project that would have such adverse effects on the quality of life in the Flathead Valley."

You can read the petition here.

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