by Travis Mateer
Before we get to the Blue Line Development scam being cooked up by public/private fascists who give ZERO FUCKS about the avalanche of public comments AGAINST this idea, let’s take a look at three State Legislators pimping this project for Blue Line.
Here’s Shane Morigeau, Ellie Boldman and Danny Tenenbaum doing their thing (those last two legislators, it should be noted, aren’t even from Montana):
Missoula residents are fed up. The county surveyed 870 residents earlier this year, asking what it should prioritize going forward. The most popular response–by far–was increasing the housing supply. No other survey response came close.
Enter the Larchmont proposal. It would create thousands of new homes, with the majority of those homes set aside, by law, for working- and middle-class families. These homes come with restrictions that prevent house-flipping or conversion to Airbnbs. It’s no surprise that affordable housing advocates from across the community have come out in support of the Larchmont proposal. The Larchmont proposal would be an absolute game-changer for working-class families.
The only thing I agree with is the first sentence of this quote–Missoula residents ARE FED UP, and not just with affordable housing schemes, but also with Mayor Engen cronies telling us what to do, like that New York transplant, Homeland Security Danny, who likes to sneak into churches looking for white supremacists while taking tax money to quiet the trains for his Rattlesnake neighbors.
These legislative tools in their pathetic op-ed seem to understand the need to move their argument beyond the fig-leaf of affordable housing, so they quickly pivot from that justification to…CLIMATE CHANGE! Because OF COURSE they did!
Moving forward with the Larchmont proposal is also good climate policy. The people who live in these homes will have access to multiple zero-fare bus lines, including the Bus Rapid Transit line planned for Brooks Street. Residents would be able to bike directly from home to midtown and downtown Missoula on the Bitterroot bicycle-pedestrian path. Some of western Montana’s largest employers, like Community Hospital and the U.S. Forest Service, are located immediately adjacent to Larchmont, making it an optimal location for a walkable community. Transportation accounts for one-quarter of global CO2 emissions, and 80% of that CO2 comes from personal vehicles. If we are serious about fighting climate crisis, we must encourage transit-oriented development like the Larchmont proposal.
Yes, to SAVE THE EARTH we MUST GIVE Blue Line Development this opportunity for a massive financial windfall and if you disagree you probably want Mother Earth to die.
Oh, and if you’re curious about any perception of political incestuousness along the lines of WHO Blue Line Development employs–like Ellen Buchanan’s daughter, Keenan Whitt, who also just happened to work for Ellie back in the day when she was ED at the Poverello Center–well, you must REALLY HATE saving Gaia from BAD cars and their stinky tailpipes.
Another local government official with a Poverello Center connection, Ben Weiss, is showing his support for this scam with a clever hashtag.
Those without family connections and paychecks tied to affordable housing schemes are MUCH LESS enthusiastic about this development, like lawyer John Velk. Here’s a comment from John grabbed from Facebook:
Well, John Velk, since I’ve been interested in Blue Line Development for awhile, I can tell you Spencer Properties IS Blue Line Development–or, more specifically, it’s an LLC created to occlude the connection, since my understanding is the LLC is tied to Nathan Richmond’s wife.
And who is Nathan Richmond? The CEO of Blue Line, or course.
Highway 93 Properties is a little trickier, but my first look brings me to Loenbro. I got there by first looking up the LLC on the business finder portion of the Secretary of State site:
Then I looked up the address and did a street view.
Then I went to the Loenbro website to see what kind of work they do, and I found this:
Yes, this company has EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE with municipal projects. Could that include developing a golf course?
To conclude this post, let’s go to the not-so-veiled threat of what will happen if this golf course is NOT developed. Here’s the Ellie, Shane and Danny show delivering the threat to the Missoula dummies not immediately swayed by these development whores.
Missoula is growing whether we like it or not. If we refuse to build housing within our urban core, development will simply expand outward. We’ll see more prime farmland and wildlife habitat out on Mullan and in Target Range converted into subdivisions. Towns like Florence, Frenchtown, Arlee and Clinton will become mere bedroom communities for Missoula. For conservation advocates, moving forward with the Larchmont proposal is an absolute must.
When they say ABSOLUTE MUST they aren’t fucking around.
So what are you gonna do about it, Missoula?