Big model airplane airfield near Veterans Home nixed

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A drone flies over the Flathead in this file photo.

A proposal by a group of model airplane enthusiasts to build a 60-foot-wide, by 800-foot long model airplane strip on a hayfield adjacent to the Montana Veterans Home has been grounded.

The state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation denied the request by Chris Sellmann Monday after hearing objections from the city of Columbia Falls and nearby residents, said Nathan Cole, management forester with the DNRC.

The DNRC manages the state owned property, which is currently a hayfield.

The Columbia Falls City Council raised concerns about the proposal and directed city manager Susan Nicosia to write a letter in opposition.

Council’s concerns included noise from the aircraft and drones and noncompliance with suburban-agricultural zoning. Neighbors also objected to the noise and its proximity to residential housing.

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