Council takes comments on growth policy

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The final draft of the Kalispell Growth Policy: Plan It 2035 will be up for discussion by the public in Monday’s Kalispell City Council meeting.

Council will take public comments concerning the proposed policy update during the hearing.

The Growth Policy outlines development goals and plans for future growth in Kalispell over the next 20 years.

Major topics included in the 2035 update include the Core Area Plan consisting of an industrial rail park and a series of trails through the downtown core area, the Downtown Plan that addresses the problems and potential of historical Downtown Kalispell and the South Kalispell Urban Renewal Plan that will look at the future of residential and commercial areas surrounding the Kalispell City Airport.

The growth policy also addresses the Kalispell Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan, which compiles an inventory of the city’s non-motorized paths, and the Kalispell Transportation Plan Update that will include the bypass and other roadways implemented since the last update in 2008.

Public comments are usually limited to three to five minutes each.

A copy of the full Kalispell Growth Policy: Plan It 2035 can be found at http://kalispell.com/mayor_and_city_council/documents/H.GPPublicHearing.pdf.

In other business, a request from Kalispell Meeting Hall, Inc. will go before council for the approval of the construction of a new private school within the Kalispell business district.

The school currently has fewer than a dozen students K-12 but they hope to grow into the new space.

The building would be located on an undeveloped plot of land on the southern portion of 135 Glenwood Drive where there is currently a 4,000-square-foot church with apartment facilities.

The school will consist of office space, a break room, a supply room storage room and two classrooms and will operate during the normal school year from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Private schools are permitted within residential and business districts with a conditional use permit as of May when Kalispell City Council passed an amendment to the Kalispell Zoning Ordinance.

Council will also schedule a public meeting to discuss the preliminary city budget for the 2018 fiscal year before it can be officially adopted. While the budget cannot be adopted before the public hearing, city staff has requested that council approve the expenditure of 2018 funds for salaries, maintenance, operation and projects until the final budget is approved. The public hearing is expected to take place July 3.

Council will vote on a motion to approve a 2.8 percent salary increase for non-union employees under the 2018 budget. According to the report by the city manager, this is the first year all groups are on the same percentage increase due to the adoption of the labor contract this past year with the Kalispell Police Association and the AFSCME labor union. The recommended increase, included in the 2018 budget, is $80,000.

An application for a final plat from Larsen Engineering and Surveying will go before council for approval. The request, made on behalf of Jacob Elk, will allow for the construction of a two-lot residential subdivision on a .87-acre lot on Northwest Lane.

For more information on the Kalispell City Council agendas or view recorded sessions, visit www.kalispell.com.

Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or mtaylor@dailyinterlake.com.

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