Bonsai Brewing expansion tops Whitefish agenda

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The Whitefish City Council begins the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 2, with Mayor John Muhlfeld swearing in new council members Ryan Hennen and Melissa Hartman and incumbent Andy Feury. New Municipal Judge William Hileman Jr. also will take the oath of office, and the council will elect a deputy mayor to serve in the mayor’s absence.

Topping the public hearing agenda is a request from Bonsai Brewing Project for a conditional-use permit to expand its microbrewery to add additional storage and cooking facilities in an adjacent building at 635 Denver Ave. The Planning Board unanimously recommended approval of the application at its Dec. 21 meeting.

Two other public hearings focus on the rezoning of property that recently was annexed into the city. One proposed ordinance rezones 29.5 acres in the Houston Drive area from county to city suburban residential district zoning. The other hearing involves 13.3 acres of land in the Duff Lane/Houston Drive area, which the city intends to rezone from county one-family limited residential to city estate residential district zoning.

The council will consider hiring FCS Group as the consulting firm for the city’s impact fees review and update, which would include the city manager negotiating a contract within the appropriated budget of $44,000. Under state law the city is required to update its impact fee studies every five years. With a review due in 2017 and limited staff availability, the impact fee advisory committee recommended the council provide budget authority to hire a consultant to complete the review during the 2018 fiscal year, according to the city manager’s council report.

The council will consider a proposal from Yoga Hive to lease tenant space in Whitefish City Hall. Another tenant in the commercial on the ground floor of City Hall is SobbaCycle. The build-out for that business is complete, and it will open soon, according to City Manager Adam Hammatt’s manager report.

The council meets in special session at 5 p.m. to interview candidates for the Whitefish Strategic Housing Plan Steering Committee and the Board of Adjustment.

A 6:15 p.m. work session will include a review and discussion of short-term rental and business-license procedures.

The council work session and meeting at 7:10 p.m. will be held at Whitefish City Hall.

Features editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

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