Missoula County wants Lolo ranch temporarily shut down for noncompliance

2013-01-02T22:00:00Z 2014-08-04T19:09:46Z Missoula County wants Lolo ranch temporarily shut down for noncomplianceBy KIM BRIGGEMAN of the Missoulian missoulian.com
January 02, 2013 10:00 pm  • 

Owners of a popular Lolo guest ranch were in District Court at the Missoula County Courthouse on Wednesday, battling efforts by Missoula County to shut down their business until they comply with health and subdivision regulations.

Judge Ed McLean heard 90 minutes of testimony from attorneys and Sterling and SuzAnne Miller of Dunrovin Ranch before continuing the case until Friday at 8:30 a.m.

McLean scolded both sides during the hearing, saying at one point he would not let the complex case get sidetracked by attorney wars.

“When I see things tied up because of bureaucracies, then I go nuts and start saying, ‘Well, we’ll go without it,’ ”McLean said. “And bureaucrats aren’t just on the county side. Bureaucrats can be on both sides, including if attorneys start playing word games.”

The Millers have been active and outspoken advocates for reform of the state’s subdivision law for lease and rent since they ran up against it in 2010. They say they’re trying to do everything they can to make Dunrovin compliant, but that the county and deputy civil attorney James McCubbin in particular have used “draconian” measures in applying it to their business.

The county alleges numerous violations of state and county subdivision and sanitation regulations since SuzAnne Miller started the equestrian-oriented guest ranch in 2006. The Millers remodeled and expanded a former garage building to establish two apartments and started constructing a separate building before they were told they couldn’t without going through expensive subdivision review.

Foremost among Missoula County’s complaints is the absence of an updated certificate of subdivision approval, or COSA, from the state Department of Environmental Quality.

The Millers have applied for a COSA rewrite, but the application is sitting at the Missoula City-County Health Department.

“Its status is it’s on hold because the property is not in compliance with Subdivision for Lease or Rent, and that is the problem,” McCubbin said. “We can’t process anything because we haven’t received an application” for subdivision.

Such an application is in the works. Dunrovin’s attorney, former deputy county attorney Colleen Dowdall, said the Millers met a month ago with the Office of Planning and Grants to find out what they needed to do to file a subdivision application. They’ve since submitted an extensive pre-application that was well-received by OPG’s Tim Worley, Dowdall added, and another meeting is set for Friday to set the process in motion.

In the meantime, she said, McCubbin filed a request for a preliminary injunction to shut down Dunrovin “because of the allegations of violations.”

“My point is the Millers are doing everything within their power to comply and not being allowed to comply,” Dowdall said. “You have to have a COSA approved, but you can’t get it approved until subdivision for lease or rent is approved and you can’t get that approved until you’ve done who knows what. We don’t know because we haven’t been told what will happen.”

The Millers, whose enterprises at Dunrovin include a osprey nest webcam that has drawn attention from around the globe, said it would be easy to reach a resolution that satisfies everyone and keeps them in business without dragging a judge into the melee.

They say they’re willing and county commissioners have the authority to allow them to upgrade their septic system, rewrite the COSA and complete construction without shutting them down. They’d like to do it before the summer season begins in April, and they would agree to complete the subdivision review process within three months of the close of the 2013 Montana Legislature, where half a dozen bills are expected to be introduced to “fix” the subdivision for lease or rent statute.

“Let me tell you where I’m at with legislation,” McLean said. “I’m not going to sit here and hold off waiting for a legislature to enact or not to enact. We’re going forward with the laws that we have on the books.”

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(46) Comments

  1. Circuit Rider
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    Circuit Rider - January 08, 2013 11:14 am
    I hope that the County Attorney, Mr McCubbin, will let Donroven Ranch continue in operation. I've been a regular visitor of their Ospray web cam, have enjoyed their web sight, and know they have the interests of the environment at heart. What a beautiful place they have! Where is the harm in allowing others outside Montana enjoy your beautiful country at their ranch?
  2. Sukey
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    Sukey - January 07, 2013 5:47 am
    Thanks Dave for making us aware of this. If the Millers were fighting against logging and against oil drilling equipment being driven down a public road, I'll bet they've created a few enemies. At any rate, if they have such a world class ranch (on 12 piddly acres?) it sounds like they are really doing well and trying to turn a garage into 3 motel rooms without getting permits is a delay for this vast dynasty, not a final straw.
  3. GaryTinkSanders
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    GaryTinkSanders - January 06, 2013 11:26 pm
    Millers I hope you win in court, there are many discrepancies that happen everyday in the building world and are worked out in reasonable fashion, your county commissioners are a big part of the problem too. There are many ADU's that were illegally built in the city of Missoula and city council and OPG are doing their best to protect those residences instead of shutting them down for their violations.
  4. johnsteele
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    johnsteele - January 06, 2013 7:45 pm
    I haven't heard a more true statement about dealing with city hall our missoula county. You will never get a straight forward answer. The way they seem to manage things is, Yeah sure, you can do that.. That's totally ok. Then when you are complete or half way through they freak out and ask Who said you could do this? (Um, I talked to the city) Well, Wasn't any guy that we know, you'll have to halt construction and get x, y and z.. None of which are available unless it is prior to your project starting..
  5. REDTR
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    REDTR - January 04, 2013 6:52 pm
    Dunrovin Ranch and the Millers provide a fantastic opportunity for people not just in MT but around the world to learn about horses, wildlife, and Montana's rich & diverse culture. They bring tourists into a state that already has a struggling economy as well as paint a beautiful picture of life in Lolo, Montana. They have clearly demonstrated that they are more than willing to do what is needed to rectify the situation. Why would you try and stop small business from building upon and improving your already poor economy?..."The city provides many opportunities for new businesses, families, and individuals seeking to experience the incredible quality of life offered here".... That is a direct quote from the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce website. Apparently this is a bold faced lie. I SUPPORT DUNROVIN 100%.
  6. Dave Skinner
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    Dave Skinner - January 04, 2013 2:43 pm
    Isn't anyone aware of the irony here?
    SuZanne Miller was one of the loudest howlers about the evil megaloads and Sterling Miller has fought logging fang and claw. So these two are some of the biggest Greens around, but when the environmental rules get in their way....oh, but those rules don't apply to US.
    Yeah, right.
    Never mind that it seems there's a little PR/Facebookin' going on here as well.
  7. Dub
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    Dub - January 04, 2013 1:58 pm
    For another look at McCubbins behavior, look at the court records of Judge Patterson in Butte where he told McCubbin to "SIT DOWN, SHUT UP AND LISTEN" and went on for 45 minutes telling him to NEVER show up in his court unprepared and that he should not have a license to practice law. And this is what we in Missoula County have to deal with. He needs to go, call your commissioners and the county attorney's office and tell them to get rid of this slug as he has no business making any legal decisions.
  8. lifelover
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    lifelover - January 04, 2013 1:02 pm
    What a difference a week makes! On December 29th the Missoulian ran the heartwarming article, "Canner gets another chance at Dunrovin Ranch" which demonstrates the generous nature of the Millers and now we hear about the County Attorney's vendetta against them. What a ridiculous waste of money and energy! I am grateful for all that Dunrovin does to provide educational and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. I echo those who have asked the County Commissioners to step in and support their efforts to break out of this catch-22! I can't imagine their frustration and just want SuzAnne and Sterling to know how much they are appreciated and supported. The ranch is like an oasis amidst subdivision after subdivision. We should do everything possible to keep parcels like this intact and functional, maintaining the rural character that makes Montana special!
  9. Immort
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    Immort - January 03, 2013 8:24 pm
    Whatever happened to working for the people, or encouraging small businesses? Why must you hinder a great business that brings in many tourists from around the world that spend a lot of money to experience beautiful Montana? It makes no sense at all. You’ve also given Missoula County a black eye when it comes to businesses wanting to start.
  10. Malpas
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    Malpas - January 03, 2013 4:59 pm
    We live in England and have travelled to Lolo many times to stay at Dunrovin ranch. It is one of our favourite places to visit. We and our children have all benefited immensely both recreationally and educationally from the ranch expeditions and experience. It seems McCubbin is being unreasonably intransigent. Why is he deliberately attacking a small well run business that benefits the county by attracting tourists from all over the world and providing local employment as well as educational benefits to young and old. I can’t understand why he isn’t doing all he can to encourage them instead of hindering their progress in this way.
  11. BJen
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    BJen - January 03, 2013 4:27 pm
    As previously stated....The officials should be working WITH the people they serve - not against them.
  12. RPT
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    RPT - January 03, 2013 4:16 pm
    Hopefully the entire community of Lolo and the children at their school will get behind the Millers at the Dunrovin Ranch and demand a special meeting with the county commissioners to put an end to this foolish and reckless abuse of power once and for all.

  13. mulemom
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    mulemom - January 03, 2013 3:59 pm
    I am quite surprised that the Commissioners of Missoula County have allowed such behavior on the part of Mr. McCubbin and the Office of Planning and Grants. Both OPG and the City Attorney have created a very bad image for potential business developers in the county. Mr. Mc Cubbin tried his same brand of short sighted law interpretation in Ravalli county and got run out. OPG has long been criticized by local development entities and an independent evaluator as being obstructionist, and lacking any semblance of community and customer service they were created to deliver. This kind of mess comes up when leadership is missing. Missoula County Commissioners, its time to step in and make something good happen. Don't let the courts and the judge have to do your work for you. Dunrovin Ranch may not be without fault in this case but they are a vibrant, generous and unique business that attracts customers from around the globe and has earned a fine local reputation for contributing to countless youth serving non-profits. This is just the kind of business we must support and cultivate. We should not let governmental incompetence and judicial arrogance destroy something the community wants and needs.
  14. mishenka
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    mishenka - January 03, 2013 3:30 pm
    Dunrovin Ranch is a jewel embracing the spirit and history of Montana. The modest improvements the Millers have tried to make have been to be able to share not only the Ranch but the equestrian experience and the beauty of the Bitterroot Valley with visitors from all over the world. What they are doing is not sprawl or decadent waste, but a shared experience for all. James McCubbin is misguided in his attack of this small business, losing the forest for the trees in whatever his larger agenda is. The County is bullying people not only trying to make an honest living, but also killing an opportunity to showcase what makes Montana and the Bitterroot Valley a singular place in the world. It's an inexcusable abuse of power and must stop!
  15. SSLL
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    SSLL - January 03, 2013 3:23 pm
    I live in Japan and have brought Japanese people to Lolo for fabulous adventures at the Dunrovin Ranch. My trip was just a beginning. Dunrovin has great potential for bringing tourists to Lolo who will, like my clients, spend their money at hotels and restaurants and gift shops. And the county wants to shut the Millers down? Who are they hurting? Who has been harmed? Who is in danger? The county should be offering them exceptions and even funds to help them get into compliance. As a consultant to Japanese companies locating in the US, I have seen US cities change zoning laws and tax codes and pay big bucks to bring Japanese companies in. Lolo has a great little business trying to grow and they want to kill it. Who benefits? Mr. McCubbin's ego?
  16. pudu
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    pudu - January 03, 2013 3:17 pm
    Deb is right. James McCubbin is completely out of control in his war against businesses and private property in Missoula County (as he was in Ravalli County previously) but it is the responsibility of the elected officials like the County Commissioners to represent the public interest and not dance to the tune played by the county staff. Dunrovin Ranch is the kind of attraction that benefits the whole County and state as it attracts tourists from all over the world. Additionally, their osprey camera paid for by the ranch owners is the best kind of tourist advertising that Montana could buy; and they don't have to pay a cent for this tourism promotion. If McCubbin gets his way and Dunrovin Ranch is driven our to business then their property, now open to all, will like become just another real subdivision with a lot of homes on what is now open space. Missoula County needs to find a path to yes but appears satisfied to continue saying no to innovative and helpful businesses like Dunrovin.
  17. Sukey
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    Sukey - January 03, 2013 2:57 pm
    Where is that useless arm of government, the community/economic development agency that we keep reading about in the Missoula area that's out trying to schlock 3 residential units? Why aren't they helping an existing business? Could it be too much competition against their government subsidized residential units if this ranch builds on a couple of private units at the business owners expense for the betterment of the business owners cash flow? Instead of government competing against small business owners is government now trying to destroy small business owners? Thats why we need to go over the cliff and get rid of all this government agencies accomplishing nothing but bankrupting America with a thousand paper cuts to employ millions of useless individuals.
  18. Dub
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    Dub - January 03, 2013 2:15 pm
    This is dysfunctional government at it's finest. The county should be ashamed of themselves for hammering the Millers with unreasonable regulations and made up mandates. James McCubbin needs to be fired--period!! He is totally incompetent and has the attitude that he is God, and no one will ever tell him what to do. Where are our commissioners in this?? Mischelle Landquist is from Lolo, Mischelle, you need to step up and help, you seem to at least have a hint of what is right as opposed to Jean Curtiss and Carey. It is not surprising that Missoula County is dead last in economic development in the state--it is time for the taxpayers to step up and demand accountability from all offices of the county and help the Millers with their project. Enough is enough!!!!
  19. MrsGlidewell
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    MrsGlidewell - January 03, 2013 1:57 pm
    This Ranch does so much for the community and for our children in particular. They are TRYING to follow the rules, will the county please just work with them and come to agreements? I am praying they don't need to shut down. Why doesn't someone from the county work as their ADVOCATE to help them through the system to be in compliance? This should never have gotten to the point of having to involve lawyers and judges etc. Make it easy and streamline the process, county officials!
  20. Janis
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    Janis - January 03, 2013 1:32 pm
    I have had quite a bit of interaction with the Dunrovin Ranch in the past few years all of it positive. I cannot imagine that the ranch is out of compliance on purpose or with malicious intent. The property is remarkably clean and looks well maintained and the staff and owners go out of their way to make sure that their neighbors are not intruded upon.

    The kids from the Boys & Girls Club in Lolo have had great experiences at the Dunrovin. They weed the garden in the summer and get to pick a vegetable and play in the field. They feed the horses and get to play hide and seek in the hay stack or sledding on the property and if they have worked very hard, they get to spend some time riding. They are not only having a great time, they are learning about working hard for what you want.

    My daughter takes lessons there and attends the summer camps. I have been extremely pleased with how she has been treated and what she has learned. Yes she rides, but she also has learned how to prepare a horse to ride and take care of him after a ride. And the confidence she has gained from learning to ride and control a horse is truly wonderful.

    This is a business we should be helping, not hindering. I love the ranch because of what they are doing for my child and the Boys & Girls Club kids. But even from a purely business perspective, they bring in tourism dollars and good will to Montana and Missoula through their trail rides and the Osprey camera. Please Missoula County officials, help them through the compliance process if that is what is needed, don't shut them down.
  21. John P Weber
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    John P Weber - January 03, 2013 1:31 pm
    Since the Millers lawyer, a former deputy county attorney doesn't seem to know the laws of this county and state, why is hshe allowed to practice law? She needs to quit fudging and go back to law school.
  22. Grandad Rufus
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    Grandad Rufus - January 03, 2013 1:24 pm
    As a Brit - I must ask why they think they should shut down an entire ranch - rather than simply say - you can't progress until things are sorted out. How do you "temporarily shut down" a Ranch - Where do you "temporarily" move the Horses to ? Here in Britain we have a name for people like this - "Jobsworth" - The officials should be working WITH the people they serve - not against them.
  23. True Blue
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    True Blue - January 03, 2013 1:21 pm
    In reviewing many of the other cases that McCubbin has been involved with, it appears that he uses what little power is given to him to create havoc with local business people. Mr. McCubbin, really?? You drag into court this case and cost the taxpayers, as well as the owners of Dunrovin Ranch thousands of dollars? For what? Don't you think we have far more pressing issues at hand? Mayor John Engen and County Commissioners, please take note here and step in and do the right thing. We need to go to bat for businesses like these. Dunrovin Ranch has been a great asset to the Missoula and Lolo communities for several years, providing creative education for young and old, alike. They have, obviously, been trying to comply with the regulations and are working on changing some of the current stipulations to make it more feasible for local folk to run a business. Bottom line: get McCubbin out of office now. He is not good for Missoula. Period.
  24. MIBlue
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    MIBlue - January 03, 2013 12:58 pm
    I live in Princeton NJ (as far from MT as you can get!) and have been the beneficiary of the Miller’s amazing enterprise. I initially became acquainted with Dunrovin Ranch through their Osprey Cam (partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the University of Montana and the Raptor View Research Institute). This public education effort has contributed to health of local MT Rivers by studying what the Ospreys bring back to the nest and feed their chicks. It also taught thousands of viewers’ important environmental lessons as a by-product. The Millers commitment to the environment is obvious from everything they do.

    Through the many educational activities of Dunrovin Ranch, Lolo has become a focus of attention way beyond MT and the contribution that the Miller’s make extends to states and countries that could never have known or experienced the unique character of MT. I would hate to see the bureaucracy and red tape get in the way of progress and education. Yes rules are important if they are fair, reasonable and equitable which, it appears could be a problem in Lolo. Please help keep Dunrovin up and running. It is very important to many people way beyond the confines of Lolo.
  25. Bogart
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    Bogart - January 03, 2013 12:53 pm
    I agree with the Lolo Parent comments 100%, Suzanne does more for the Lolo community then any other business in Lolo. We need to keep the ranch open and growing for everyone in our community and that even includes the Missoula community.
  26. Ponder2
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    Ponder2 - January 03, 2013 12:42 pm
    Who wins here? Really, does it have to be such a battle? Where is that sense of building community, of building a community? Working together, not against each other, that is what Montanans do. Red tape is so frustrating. Dunrovin reaches out to share a quality of life, provide education in a variety of ways to a variety of people. We should encourage such willing resources that enhance living here in western Montana and impact beyond our state's boundaries. Our family has a positive view of Dunrovin. Our girls took a horse riding class offered to homeschool students through the ranch. What a GREAT program! The students learned far beyond the basic horse care/riding skills offered in the class. They learned what patience, encouragement, and belief looks like from the instructors. They learned to appreciate the outdoors of Montana and the respectable, loving use of horses to enjoy that environment. And here is what strikes me in the moment of this debate...from what we've seen; SuzAnne Miller has worked with families to ensure no one is denied the experience and benefits of Dunrovin Ranch. I would love to see Missoula County apply the same spirit to their case with the Millers. Such sentiment would speak volumes of what community means in our region.
  27. Lolo Parent
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    Lolo Parent - January 03, 2013 12:32 pm
    As a parent of school age children in Lolo, I know first hand how many families utilize the activities at Dunrovin Ranch. I would like to see Dunrovin and the County move toward a settlement instead of shutting down one of the few educational and cultural outlets we have in Lolo. With Dunrovin gone that leaves us with day camp at KT's, you know the one with the naked lady in a beer mug out front. Lets keep moving AWAY from Lolo as a 'truck stop' town and toward businesses such as Dunrovin that look to enrich the community of Lolo.
  28. dave ajou
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    dave ajou - January 03, 2013 12:26 pm
    Shut them down. Nice. I'll bet New Party bluedog sings a different tune when it comes to ADU's.
  29. grizalltheway
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    grizalltheway - January 03, 2013 12:16 pm
    the stupid thing is the county doesn't even seem to be trying to help. we're in a slow recovery. governments, businesses and people should be helping each other, not trying to shut each other down. i betcha every business in missoula has a few violations of some arcane county rule, why try to shut down a business down when instead the county should be focused on protecting the public interest? it's a waste of county dollars to sue one of their citizens for trying to comply, and then prevent them from doing what needs to be done to comply.
  30. RPT
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    RPT - January 03, 2013 12:11 pm
    The Dunrovin Ranch is only about 25 acres in size and part of that is in the floodplain along the river..
    They trailer their horses and riders up Lolo creek for day rides.
    Beautiful setting for what their trying to do and Salt of the Earth people who own and run the place.. Stop by some time and Suzanna is always there to welcome you, give you a tour of the place and answer any questions.
    The City/ County of Missoula should be doing all it can to support this type business instead of putting them through the wringer the way they are.
  31. 323missoua
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    323missoua - January 03, 2013 12:08 pm
    Dunroven is a special place, I don't think they are raking in the profits, and probably need these 2 buildings to make ends meet. My daughter does lessons there and it has been her favorite place to be for 2 years now, it's an oasis for a pre-teen. I would think trying to help them to stay up and running would and should be a priority, It's not like they're building a walmart, they are actually doing something exceptional for the community.
  32. in the pines
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    in the pines - January 03, 2013 11:47 am
    My 2 cents worth is that until McCubbin moved from Ravalli County to Missoula County's attorney office, Missoula (as did most all other counties in Montana) did not enforce the need for a subdivision review for rent/lease. The legislature does need to fix this issue, folks are not physically subdividing, they are just building on one piece of ground to then rent out on a short term basis. Yes, get a septic permit upgrade but why have to 1st go thru the entire subdivision process when that is not the goal? Why James McCubbin has been allowed to impose his view on the whole of Missoula County is a question I would like answered. (and wasn't he quoted in the last similar case that he would work with the landowner to get a very simple court order to divide property? Seems to me he is on a bigger political track.)
  33. RPT
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    RPT - January 03, 2013 11:36 am
    This happens every day here ...Missoula is NOT user friendly to small businesses unless your green.
    Then they'll almost wet themselves with the arms wide open welcome you'll recieve at city hall.
    And even then it'll cost you a couple years and thousands of dollars before you'll be up and running.
  34. hellgatenights
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    hellgatenights - January 03, 2013 11:29 am
    This article is confusing, but then, I do not know the regulations. This word "SUBDIVISION" keeps coming up, but WHERE is the subdivision? In a nearby state, a subdivision is FIVE (5) or more lots.........all I see here is two apartments??? So.....where is the subdivision?

    The county is clearly using their paid "Pit bull" to harass these people............but that can be fixed. The Millers need to continue to get their permits and applications in order so they can prove they are compliant. If they are still harassed by the county, then sue them for damages.

    One OBVIOUS problem for the public parasites at the county is that they do NOT WANT a large tract of land near Missoula tied up for agricultural purposes.**

    WHY: Because they cannot extract fat property taxes from a horse farm. Simple as math.

    Boss Engen is trying hard to build his "Obamaville" here in Marx County, but some people just "Don't get it" and have to be "Nudged" by public officials.
  35. RPT
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    RPT - January 03, 2013 11:06 am
    You don’t get it do you?.. There are NO set rules and for sure NO book to follow.. They’ll move the goal posts any time they want and when they see fit to do so.. And as often as the mood hits them.. It’s disgraceful what their allowed to get away with at City Hall just because they can.
  36. hockeymom0117
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    hockeymom0117 - January 03, 2013 10:34 am
    So they don't follow the rules and now everyone else is to blame. What a joke. Rules are rules people! Liberal, conservative or Tea bag loonies all need to follow them. As for violating your Constitutional rights? What rights? The right to do as you please regardless? So what if it takes awhile. The rules apply to all. So do it by the book and quit crying about secret agendas and politics. Whiners.
  37. CMMF
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    CMMF - January 03, 2013 10:29 am
    RPT is right--the county keeps changing the rules. When the Millers started their business, the subdivision for lease or rent clause was thought inapplicable to their situation. Since then, James McCubbin has led the fight in the courts to expand the application of the lease or rent clause, arguing that ANY TIME ANY PART of a property is leased or rented (even providing rooms on a short term basis, which are not typically treated as property for "lease") the property must go through the expensive subdivision process. This makes no sense, but it an anti-business attempt to stop growth in areas where there are no zoning restrictions. Businesses like Dunrovin are a wonderful part of Montana--they bring tourists into the state and county to experience the beautiful Bitterroot Valley as well as provide a fantastic learning experience with their osprey camera. I have stayed at Dunrovin and know what a great addition Dunrovin Ranch is to the area. They county should be bending over backwards to help resolve business obstacles rather than trap business owners in bureaucratic catch 22s.
  38. Dunrovin Fan
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    Dunrovin Fan - January 03, 2013 10:20 am
    I certainly hope these issues can be resolved without shutting down Dunrovin Ranch. I have been watching the ranch through the osprey nest webcam off and on since May of last year and have learned so much about ospreys, horses, Missoula and Montana, as well as just the good nature of people from observation and interaction with the Millers via social media. They are a excellent boon to Montana tourism! I live in NC and hope to visit Montana in the near future largely as a result of getting to know Dunrovin Ranch! Don't let beauracrcy and red tape get in the way of progress. I know regulations are important but work with people toward resolution. Keep Dunrovin up and running!
  39. mtbluedog
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    mtbluedog - January 03, 2013 10:13 am
    Shut them down. They tried to get around the regulations that protect all landowners and whine about not getting their way and build anyway. Then they lawyer up. Both the owners are bureaucrats themselves; they know the rules. And they think that rules don't apply to them.
  40. RPT
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    RPT - January 03, 2013 10:07 am
    It’s pretty obvious you’ve never attempted to do business with City Hall.. You will NEVER find anyone there who will
    stand behind what they tell you is required when it comes time for the public meetings.
    The rules and regulations concerning any improvement or development in Missoula County are a moving target depending on which option will cost the business owner or developer the longest delays and cost them the most out of pocket expense.... And their proud to point out at City Hall that any extra cost caused by their delays is not their concern and should be considered the price of TRYING to do business in Missoula County.
  41. Drummer
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    Drummer - January 03, 2013 9:13 am
    The County Commissioners, The Office of Planning and Grants, and even Mayer Engen and City Council are opposed to growth of any kind. They are oppressing the people through the environmental agenda. McCubbin needs to be fired, new officials need to be elected in up-coming open seats, and these people who are terrorizing the City & County need to remember that the Constitution is the Law of the land. They are violating our private property rights. Interestingly enough, they are using our tax payer dollars to achieve their end.
  42. LoloResident
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    LoloResident - January 03, 2013 8:07 am
    I can personally attest that the folks at Dunrovin are great people. I've also gone through the subdivision process and it's a joke and I'll never do another subdivision again. The red tape, rediculous fees, outlandish regulations, and glacial delays drag the investment into the ground. The situation that the Dunrovin is in is all too common and the beaurocracy needs to be reigned in.
  43. M
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    M - January 03, 2013 8:05 am
    So they didn't obey the regulations on the front end and they want an exemption to continue their business as non-compliant until they can make it compliant? Maybe if you researched what permits you needed to begin with--or got the permits you knew you needed instead of trying to skate in under the radar--things would work as they're supposed to.
  44. Bruce Hammer
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    Bruce Hammer - January 03, 2013 7:34 am
    It's the cost of trying to do anything in a county controlled by liberals. Liberals, despite all of their claims to the contrary, are the most anti-growth, negative, closed-minded, judgmental people around. Maybe of these folks tacked a brewery onto the property somewhere the county would find this acceptable.
  45. RPT
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    RPT - January 03, 2013 7:29 am
    Anyone considering opening a new business or expanding an existing one in Missoula County would be well advised to do their DD on the
    anti-business ... “Stop You or Delay you as Long as Possible if We Can”... attitude that’s waiting to greet you at the Missoula County courthouse and City Hall when you try.
  46. Sukey
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    Sukey - January 03, 2013 6:43 am
    This is a terrible slap in the face to anyone even thinking of starting a business in Montana. Its not like people are lined up waiting to invest their hard earned money into this State. We're a poor State,near the bottom on everything except for the things we're near the top on, drunk drivers murdering people, stoned drivers murdering people, suicides, federal tax welfare recipient (yes, its true, the Blue States pay more federal taxes than they receive back and Montana is one of the biggest receivers of getting more Federal taxes than we ever collectively paid). Recall this County Attorney, its the businesses who are supporting everyone else, even the county attorney's salary.
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