Glampground

The West Gallatin River flows between the future site of Riverbend Glamping Getaway and multiple homes in Gallatin Gateway.

Eight environmental groups have submitted a petition to the Gallatin County Planning Board and Director requesting a more robust evaluation of a controversial development in Gallatin Gateway.

The groups are asking the board and director to formally determine whether the Riverbend Glamping Resort, a proposed vacation destination along the Gallatin River, must be reviewed as a subdivision.

Subdivision review would require the planning department to ensure the project meets stringent state and local regulations before it could be built.

The planning department previously determined the resort didn’t need to go through subdivision review, said Sean O’Callaghan, the planning director. The department made this decision through a standard administrative process that didn’t involve the planning board or a written decision.

O’Callaghan has sent the group’s petition to the Gallatin County Attorney’s Office for review.

The county has yet to determine whether it will issue a formal decision on whether the Riverbend Glamping Resort must be looked at as a subdivision.

Jeff Pfeil, who is behind the project, said the petition is unfounded.

“There is no basis to this appeal if they look carefully at the rules and at our project and what we’re proposing,” he said.

The Riverbend Glamping Resort, located just west of the Mill Street bridge in Gallatin Gateway, will include campsites with Airstream trailers, Conestoga wagons and tiny homes for rent, according to the permit application.

The sites will have access to water from a well on the property, electricity from lines along Gateway South Road and wastewater and natural gas service from pipelines placed under the Gallatin River.

A gravel road will also be constructed to link the development to Gateway South Road.

The groups behind the petition — Upper Missouri River Waterkeeper, Montana Trout Unlimited, Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana, Simms Fishing Products, Protect the Gallatin River, Madison-Gallatin Trout Unlimited, American Rivers and Greater Yellowstone Coalition — are hoping the planning department determines the Riverbend Glamping Resort meets the state and county requirements for subdivision review.