Richland County Commissioners Halt Approval for Lunderby Subdivision

On Dec. 7, the Richland County Commissioners required resubmittal of the proposal for the first minor subdivision of Tract 1 Minor Subdivision Number 127, with the working name Steven Lunderby Minor Subdivision. The decision comes after a recommendation made by Property and Casualty Trust Land Use Attorney for the MT Association of Counties, Tara Dupuy that the subdivision not be approved or denied at this point due to a change to the proposed wastewater system. This change requires the subdivider to submit an amended subdivision application.

In Dupuy’s letter to the commissioners she stated:

During the Richland County Commission public meeting on Dec. 6, the representative for the Steve Lunderby Minor Subdivision stated that the Montana Department of Environmental Quality had rejected the wastewater proposal proposed for the combined wastewater treatment for the meat processing plant and the domestic wastewater. Further, the representatives for the Steve Lunderby Minor Subdivision stated that they did not know who will be reviewing at least a major portion of the meat processing plant wastewater treatment and the portion of that treatment that the public voiced the most concern about, being the lagoon.

As submitted, the subdivision application for the Steve Lunderby Minor Subdivision proposes a combined treatment system for both the wastewater for the meat processing plant and domestic wastewater. It was stated during the public meeting yesterday in response to public comment that MDEQ would be reviewing and monitoring the lagoon. The representatives for the Steve Lunderby Minor Subdivision stated that it is not known at this time either who will be reviewing the lagoon or what permits/review are required. The public, pursuant to the public’s Constitutional rights to know and participate in the subdivision review process, should be able to comment on any new proposals for the wastewater for the meat processing plant or a change in who reviews, permits and monitors the lagoon. These stated changes are material to the subdivision application and require an amended subdivision application to go back through the review process.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

According to the staff report submitted to the commissioners by contracted planner Joel Nelson, the proposed subdivision is located at 12314 County Road 351 approximately ¾ mile south of Sidney along the east side of County Road 351. The current 59.39 acre parcel contains Lunderby Trucking, Eastern Montana Meats, a commercial feed lot and related uses. The proposed two lot subdivision would create Lot 2, a 2.06 acre lot containing the Eastern Montana Meats building and Lot 1, a 57.806 acre lot containing Lunderby Trucking, the feedlot, and other related and commercial accessory buildings. Lot 1 would be severed by an existing well & wastewater treatment system. Lot 2 was proposed to connect to a new off-site wastewater treatment system located on the applicant’s adjacent property to the southwest of the subdivision. Lot 1 is currently served by an onsite well and onsite wastewater treatment system.

An open public meeting was held on Dec. 6 at the Commissioners Chambers in the Richland County Courthouse. The meeting was attended by representatives for the Steven Lunderby Minor Subdivision, concerned neighbors and others opposing the approval of the subdivision. Opponents to the subdivision stated various concerns such as loss of property value, possible contamination to existing water wells and increased truck traffic. County officials stated that the purpose of the meeting was in regards to the subdivision only and not current, or potential problems with the operation of the businesses on site.

Forrest J. Mandeville, Forrest Mandeville Consulting, is representing the Steven Lunderby Minor Subdivision. Mandeville has indicated that they do plan to amend and resubmit the proposal to the commissioners for reconsideration.


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