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News in brief: Dec. 21, 2018



Canyon development zoning amendments clear county


At both the Gallatin County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Dec. 13, and the Gallatin County Commission on Dec. 18, proposed zoning amendments to a potential mixed-used development on Highway 191 were approved unanimously.

Big Sky developer Scott Altman has been planning to develop the gravel pit property, just south of the stoplight at Lone Mountain Trail, for a number of years and now has the zoning approval to begin the next steps in the process.

One request was a conditional-use permit amendment to convert nearly 7 acres from the 46.5 acres of Commercial-Industrial zoned property, which includes the gravel pit itself, to residential zoning. Another request was to adjust the classification of that remaining 40 acres to allow hotel construction because it’s currently zoned for motels only, a technicality that’s remnant of historical Montana state law.
These amendments, and one to convert the existing residential zoning on the property from 5-acre lots to 1-acre lots were approved by the county, although when a development proposal will be presented to the county is unknown. Altman could not be reached for comment by EBS press time on Dec. 19, but he previously told EBS that, “We’re trying to make homes for the community to live in. Our goal is to make housing up there, smaller homes that locals can live in.”

Gallatin County increasing patrols over holidays


Increased law enforcement patrols in all areas of Gallatin County will begin during the weeks leading up to Christmas and lasting through New Year’s Day to keep Montana’s roads free of impaired drivers. All local law enforcement agencies will be working together to encourage sober driving.
There is zero tolerance for impaired drivers in Montana. Area police chiefs, sheriffs and captains are asking everyone to plan ahead, and if you plan to drink have sober transportation organized for a safe trip home. If you do not plan to drink during the holidays, consider being a designated driver to friends and loved ones.
More celebrations happen this time of year than any other. Nationally, 885 people lost their lives in traffic crashes involving drunk drivers in December 2017. In Montana, one-tenth of the year’s impaired driving crashes happen in December.
Montanans have successfully decreased the number of alcohol-related incidents around the holidays over the last two years. We can work together to reduce that number to zero if everyone does their part.
Consequences of impaired driving include a DUI, having your license revoked, possible jail time, and up to $10,000 in fines.
Download National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s SaferRide mobile app and Uber, or Lyft prior to leaving home so you are prepared. Alternatively, designate a sober driver or ask someone to call you a ride. If you see a suspected impaired driver, report it by calling 911.

Third annual Holiday Homes a hit

Event raises nearly $30,000 for Discovery Academy


Discovery Academy experienced overwhelming support for its progressive holiday party fundraiser, raising $28,860 to be dedicated to programming and tuition assistance.

“Over half of our students are on scholarship,” said Discovery Board Chair Karen Maybee, “so this is an important focus of our fundraising efforts. We want everyone to have an opportunity to attend Discovery if it is the right fit for them.”

The fundraiser was again boosted with a $10,000 matching donation from an anonymous donor. The match was made through ticket sales, business sponsorship and donations. The popular fundraiser invited ticket buyers to a progressive holiday party in three local homes for appetizers, a main meal and dessert.

Afterwards, partygoers returned to the school’s Holiday Bazaar, which this year was open during the Christmas Stroll and after the Visit Big Sky Holiday Home Tour. Discovery students also treated partygoers to a mini-recital of holiday music before they embarked.

“This is really an event about bringing people together to share the holiday spirit, while supporting educational choice and enrichment for the community of Big Sky,” Maybee said.

Skate with Santa in Town Center


Santa is coming to Big Sky Town Center, and this time he’s going to be on skates. On Saturday, Dec. 22, the Big Sky Community Organization will host Skate with Santa at the ice rink in Town Center from 4 to 6 p.m. The event is free of charge, and so are kids’ skates at East Slope Outdoors when you mention Skate with Santa. Free skates will be handed out on a first come first serve basis.

After a significant fundraising campaign and much community support, the ice rink has undergone a major technological upgrade. Skaters with Santa will be cruising around on the newly refrigerated rink, cooled by “The Chiller.”

The gathering on ice will be in celebration of the holidays as well as BSCO’s recent procurement of land in the Town Center, which will increase public parkland by 3.3 acres.

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