It wasn’t until I watched the Missoula Redevelopment Agency meeting from April 21, 2022 wherein Sadek Darwiche and Dean Bosacki, of Capital V Partners, outlined plans to take over a roughly 7-acre parcel in downtown Missoula to build an events center, hotel, housing, entertainment, and retail outlets that I realized the 6-acre parcel Bidache Inc. seeks to rezone in Driggs is likely part of a much bigger development portfolio.
The Capital V Partners web page (capitalvpartners.com) depicts several of the Darwiche properties in Jackson Hole along with a 5,000-acre government training center for security personnel as part of its 2-billion-dollar development portfolio.
While Bidache Inc. and Sadek Darwiche have been less than transparent about what the build-out will look like if the two lots are rezoned, it has been clear that the intended use requires the destruction of 90% of the mature vegetation on one of the parcels, including the destruction of the designated winter songbird habitat and migration area that currently hosts birds, deer, and a moose and calf pair, among other animal life.
The destruction of an important small patch of habitat is a travesty and is clearly not what many local residents want or need, but this travesty of misaligned values gets worse because Bidache Inc. has hired a legal team to pursue its goals and the impact of potential litigation against the city is chilling.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this rezone issue is about local property rights or NIMBY ("Not In My Back Yard"). This is about how a development firm with deeper pockets wins what it wants, regardless of community values outlined in the Comprehensive Plan.
Given the apparent scope of the Darwiche association with Capital V Partners’ projects, the residents of Driggs deserve to know just how big the development will be if the parcels are rezoned to commercial because we can assume commercial zoning across all three lots will allow for a bigger, denser build-out than what current zoning would accommodate.
That means more traffic, more congestion, more noise, more light pollution, more surface runoff, and greater demand on city services such as water and sewer, all of which will exact a cost, one way or another, from everyone in Driggs.
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