Application for Whiskey Jack Arts Venue pulled

The Shook Twins release joint statement explaining the decision

By Reader Staff

A proposed arts venue off Whiskey Jack Road along the Boyer Slough is no longer under consideration, after the family behind the project has chosen to pull its conditional use permit application from consideration.

The Shook family filed the application in December, seeking approval from Bonner County planning officials to create a 500-person music venue on their property. Pushback from local agencies and residents soon surfaced, and planning staff issued a recommendation Feb. 25 to deny the application, arguing that the proposal was “not in accord with the Bonner County comprehensive plan.” 

Before the Shook family chose to retract their application, the Bonner County Planning and Zoning Commission was slated to hear the staff report on March 4.

In a joint statement released March 1, Laurie and Katelyn Shook — known professionally as the music group Shook Twins — shared that after discussing with family and reviewing the conditions of approval included in the planning staff report, they “feel that it is in best alignment with us and with the neighborhood” to pull the application from consideration.

“We hear the neighbors’ concerns and we agree that this proposed arts venue could potentially create adverse impacts to the residential neighborhoods, due to increased traffic and lack of a second emergency exit,” said the Shooks, who were raised in Sandpoint.

The statement goes on the share that the family doesn’t want to “be an impetus behind having to rebuild the quaint little bridge on Whiskey Jack [Road]” and also does not want to “disturb” their neighbors, “many of whom clearly oppose the idea of having events on our land on a commercial or professional level multiple times per summer.”

“We wanted you all to know that we respect the quiet ruralness of this place and never had intentions of loudly disrupting it,” they continued.

The Shook Twins said they reserve their right to host personal events at their family’s property “on a very limited basis with respect to the surrounding community.”

“Even though our parents’ Whiskey Jack property may not be the right place for our dream venue, for now we still plan to bring our musical friends to this town, utilizing the existing venues like the Panida and the Hive,” the statement concluded.

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