28 Mar The Montana Supreme court upholds the legality of Initiative 17-01 on all counts!
The Montana Supreme court upholds the legality of Initiative 17-01 on all counts!
Here’s the good news from Yes! for Flathead Farms and Water:
We just received the first Montana Supreme Court decision (1 of 3 different appeal cases before the supreme court re. Montana Artesian Water Company’s bottling plant) – this first one is regarding our appeal of Judge Allison’s grandfather decision and MAWC’s eleven (11!) cross appeals attacking Initiative 17-01 and the Egan Slough Zoning District addition. We were victorious in defending all 11 of MAWC’s claims against Initiative 17-01; the Supreme court upheld Initiative 17-01 on all counts. So we did it! – We successfully added 530 acres to the Egan Slough Zoning District, the regulations were applied to the new territory, and we protected the farms in the zoning district. In essence, we reinforced our constitutional right to self-govern and overturned our county commissioners’ unlawful decision to deny the citizens’ petition to add their farms to the Egan Slough Zoning District.
This is a really big deal and is cause for celebration!
Regarding our grandfather appeal, the Supreme Court did not rule in our favor BUT it did provide clarification that MAWC is limited by the permits it had or had applied for when the zoning district was certified on June 21, 2018. One clear limitation is MAWC can only expand the size of its present metal building by 50% which is just one of the limitations MAWC complained about in its legal briefs as preventing it from achieving its goal of being able to bottle 1.22 billion bottles a year. To what extent MAWC can bottle is still to be determined because its water permit for 450 gpm and discharge permit have been vacated but these vacateurs are being appealed to the Supreme Court.
Two more Supreme Court cases to go – thanks for your continued support!