Orders have been given that a road built without permission last summer on a hillside above Townsend Gulch Road near Bellevue—as seen in this May 2013 photo—be removed and the hillside restored. Blaine County officials said this week that landowner Robert Christensen was cited by the county for building the road without a site-alteration permit and because the hillside is in the county’s Mountain Overlay District, where development is restricted. Land Use and Building Services Director Tom Bergin said Christensen, of Paces Ferry LLC, applied for a categorical exclusion to the overlay district after the citation was issued. A scheduled trial on the matter was delayed until the county succeeded in having Christensen reclaim the hillside instead, Bergin said. “A deferred sentencing agreement was reached, stipulating that the owner restore the hillside as close as possible to its pre-existing condition. We have developed a reclamation plan and they are in the middle of executing it,” Bergin said. The Mountain Overlay District is a zoning overlay intended to limit development within the area and, according to the county ordinance, “prevent scarring of hillsides and mountains made by cuts and fills and/or access by roads.” Express photo by Willy Cook
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