Conservation District orders cease and desist on McDonald Creek home (copy)
TRISTAN SCOTT Flathead Beacon
The Flathead Conservation District’s Board of Supervisors on April 10 approved a cease-and-desist order suspending further work on a three-story home under construction on private property along Glacier National Park’s McDonald Creek. Although the homeowners had already halted construction, the order places an enforceable moratorium on future work until the conclusion of a declaratory ruling process that could span up to eight months.
“The power of the order is that if they do keep doing the work, then the [Board of Supervisors] has the ability to ask a court to enforce the order,” according to Camisha Sawtelle, an attorney representing the Flathead Conservation District (FCD) in the case.
The supervisors also agreed that their determination last month that property owners John and Stacy Ambler, of San Diego, were constructing the home illegally and without a valid 310 streambed permit is a matter of public interest, a requisite procedural bar established under the conservation district’s adopted rules. According to those rules, the district’s supervisors must also appoint a hearing officer to conduct the proceedings, which will ultimately help determine the fate of the Amblers’ private home under construction on a public waterway tracking through a national park.