29 Nov Hearing in Judge Allison’s Courtroom December 1, 2020 at 9:00 am to defend Initiative 17-01
Hear ye, Hear ye! This December 1, 2020 at 9:00 am there will be a hearing in Judge Allison’s courtroom to defend Initiative 17-01. Because of COVID 19, the District Court strongly recommends appearance at hearings by video or telephone and states “Do not appear at the Justice Center unless absolutely necessary.” So for the safety of others and yourselves PLEASE do not attend in person.
At this time it is unknown if remote access to the hearing will be available, but if it is you will be able to access the hearing via the Zoom link on the District Court’s website https://flathead.mt.gov/clerk_of_court/.
Your presence on-line will further demonstrate that Flathead County residents still care deeply about protecting the initiative process, the preservation of our farmlands, and the safety of our groundwater resources. Please mark your calendar for 9:00 am, December 1, 2020.
Yes! For Flathead Farms and Water is the primary plaintiff in the lawsuit against the County Commissioners for allowing Montana Artesian Water Company to begin to commercially bottle water after 70% of Flathead County voters approved Initiative 17-01. MAWC submitted several counter claims to our lawsuit, alleging that Initiative 17-01 was unlawful. In that case, the District Court reaffirmed our constitutional right to Initiative by establishing that Initiative 17-01 was legal. The result is that 530 acres have been added to the Egan Slough Zoning District and the zoning regulations are enforceable on all properties, including MAWC’s, that are contained therein. Ultimately, though, the District Court determined that the current MAWC operation was “grandfathered” in, a decision we are likely to appeal to the Montana Supreme Court.
The hearing on December 1st will address MAWC’s remaining claims, including a claim that Initiative 17-01 is reverse “spot zoning” (it’s not), that the zoning is unconstitutional (it’s not), and that the zoning was an unlawful taking of MAWC’s property rights (it’s not).
As we approach the Holidays, we remain thankful for all of your support and the incredible accomplishments we have achieved together. Initiative 17-01 qualified for the ballot in June 2017 after over 100 volunteers collected 12,455 registered voter signatures, and a year later, on June 5, 2018, 70% of Flathead County voters voted FOR protecting our farms and water. Yes! For Flathead Farms and Water thanks you for your continued support, and we will work to keep you informed and up to date as this lawsuit progresses. Have a safe and Happy Holiday!