High court orders Bridger Canyon barn must go


POSTED: 7:09 PM Nov 21 2012   UPDATED: 7:16 PM Nov 21 2012
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Over two years after the Gallatin County Commission denied a property owner's request to finish building a barn on his land, the state supreme court ruled he'll have to take it down.

"It's really so cut and dry."

Kent Madin is a Bridger Canyon resident and a member of their property owner's association.  He says anyone driving up and down Bridger Canyon road could see this one time large structure standing out.

He says it marred the view.  But for him and many of his neighbors, it was about much more than that.

"This was a pretty gross example of going ahead and building and then hoping for forgiveness later on if you get caught," says Madin.

He says Bridger Canyon's zoning regulations have been effective in protecting landscape, water, wildlife and most importantly, property values.

"That's one of the main reasons why we are so adamant about protecting those values because it goes to the bottom line of peoples' property values," says Madin.

He says they worried if they didn't stand up for those zoning regulations and the importance of getting a permit before building began, then it could set a precedent for future cases brought before the county commission.

"Mostly, I'm just happy to be able to know that when we go down and talk to the planning department in the future and when the county commission have brought before them some issue for a variance or a change in our zoning district, they know how strongly we feel about the protection of our zoning regulations," explains Madin.

We talked to one neighbor who says she didn't see what the big deal was and had no objections to the barn staying up.
We were unable to get in touch with the property owner but we did reach out to his lawyer.  He did not return our phone call as of news time.

To read the state supreme court's decision, click here.