More parking sought for Firebrand Hotel

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The Whitefish Hotel Group wants to expand the parking lot at the Firebrand Hotel and is asking for a conditional zone change to convert a residential lot into more parking spaces.

The Whitefish Planning Board will hold a public hearing on July 19 to consider changing the zoning for the lot at 224 Kalispell Avenue. Kalispell Avenue is a residential street on the east side of the Firebrand, which is located at the southeast corner of Spokane Avenue and Second Street East.

The board will hear three other public hearings, including:

• A request by 124 O’Brien Lot LLC for a conditional use permit to develop a mixed-use building with six residential units at 124 O’Brien Ave.

• A request by the city of Whitefish for a zoning text amendment to make modifications in order to prohibit residential short-term rentals in the WB-2, or secondary business district.

The modifications, which include the definitions of hospitality and entertainment, hotel and residential short-term rental, were requested by the Whitefish City Council recently following the county’s approval of a 60-unit condominium project on U.S. 93 S near the pond at Mountain Mall. The council reluctantly approved a planned-unit development overlay for the project, known as Eagle Lake, and last month said it wanted to take another look at the issue after concerns were raised about the condos being used for vacation rentals.

The zoning text amendment is aimed at preventing the proliferation of vacation rentals in the secondary business zone, according to Planning Director Dave Taylor.

The board meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at Whitefish City Hall, 418 E. Second St.

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