Board passes requests to City Council

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The Whitefish Planning Board held four public hearings on Oct 18.

The Planning Board:

• Voted to recommend a request by Commerce Street Condos to amend the zoning map to change a half acre from industrial to industrial and secondary business with conditions zoning for a business space at 1820 Baker Avenue.

Amy Ericksen requested the change to allow for use of the property for selling refurbished furniture.

Conditional zoning allows an applicant to rezone a transitional property into a blended zone that offers restrictions on development requirements and future uses in exchange for the inclusion of some uses allowed in an adjacent zone, according to the planning department.

“It will be consistent with the existing zoning surrounding it,” Planning Director Dave Taylor said. “It’s a blend between the two zoning districts.”

The request is set to go before City Council on Nov. 5.

• Voted to recommend a request to amend a planned unit development overlay to increase the density by six units in the Riverview Meadows.

Michael Morton of Mkay is requesting to amend the 2016 PUD for lot 16 of the Riverview Meadows to increase the density. The lot is currently approved for 18 units in three buildings, but the request is to increase what is allowed to construct 24 units in one building. The PUD also includes 13 detached single-family homes along the Whitefish River and 10 attached townhouses fronting the Whitefish Avenue extension.

The property is on Akers Lane near the TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotel. The proposal calls for providing one additional affordable apartment for a total of five in the building.

The updated plan calls for constructing eight two-bedroom units, eight one-bedroom units and eight studio units. This is a decrease in the total bedrooms for the building.

Rob Pero, representing MKay, said even though there is an increase in density there is going to be less people. He noted that one building instead of three means less cost to the developer, which means less expensive rent.

“By cutting the bedroom counts you’re really adding no more people or no more traffic,” he said. “It’s 32 bedrooms instead of 42 bedrooms.”

Neighbors of the property expressed concerns that the new design is not compatible with the neighborhood and will increase traffic in the area.

Barbara Morris, with the Rivers Edge Homeowners Association, said the homeowners had previously supported the original PUD after negotiations with the owner, but is forced to withdraw that support.

“The HOA strenuously objects to his amendment, which is a violation of what we agreed upon,” she said. “The original three buildings blend much more naturally ... this would not be true of the larger apartment building.”

The request is set to go before City Council on Nov. 19.

• Voted to recommend a rezone of property on Skyles Place from limited business district to high density multi-family residential to implement the future land use map changes adopted as part of the Wisconsin Avenue Corridor Plan. James Atkinson, on behalf of Tom Carson, is seeking the zone change for the parcels involved that include commercial storage and auto repair, as well as, single and multi-family residences.

The intent of the rezoning is to facilitate future re-development of the parcels to multi-family residential workforce housing, which would not be permitted in the current zoning, according to planning staff.

The request is set to go before City Council on Nov. 5.

• Voted to recommend a request for a conditional use permit to construct an accessory apartment in a at 718 W. Third Street, which is currently undeveloped. The request is set to go before City Council on Nov. 5.

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