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Decision time for Whitefish microbrewery

Whitefish City Council

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Posted: Sunday, December 2, 2012 7:22 pm | Updated: 12:38 pm, Thu Apr 17, 2014.

The Whitefish City Council tonight is tasked with deciding whether or not to approve Ryan Zinke’s proposed microbrewery and bed-and-breakfast inn on U.S. 93 West.

It’s a decision that essentially will force the council to take sides, either favoring the Planning Board’s recommendation to move forward with the project or abiding by the planning staff’s recommendation to table the project until a corridor study is done for the highway.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • MontanaTrace posted at 7:55 am on Tue, Dec 4, 2012.

            MontanaTrace Posts: 336

            This would improve the appearance to entering our town. Some of the houses on 93 No. are pretty ugly.

          • RussCrowder posted at 3:55 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

            RussCrowder Posts: 414

            Because it is Whitefish, there is only one question that is relevant to the issue: Would this be allowed in Aspen or Vail?

          • trust no one posted at 2:33 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

            trust no one Posts: 25

            Zinke may have the planning board in his pocket but I assure you he does not have City Council in his pocket.

          • norsenative posted at 1:15 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

            norsenative Posts: 4

            Them that has, gets. It would be interesting if a person not as well connected as Zinke could grease the wheels of the Whitefish Planning Board and City Council so easily.
            Would be interesting to know how much parking there will be available for his patrons? Other cities whose brewery tap rooms are located in residential areas know full well how parking can be a real issue as patrons begin to put their cars wherever they feel like it on a busy day.. (namely a neighbor's driveway, or blocking it)
            I know Zinke cited the State of Montana tasting room rules, but there will still be a great quantity of traffic of drinking patrons during any semblance of family hours. Again, I doubt that any person less connected than Zinke would have a harder time than this. Let's not forget either, that as he was lobbied to sponsor several bills on the brewing industry's behalf - and coincidentally is now potentially reaping the benefits of such legislation he helped pass with this business venture. Sounds like a conflict of interest to me... Business as usual for a politician I guess? But hey, if you don't comply - maybe you'll get a Double Tap to the head!

          • HamNeggs posted at 12:13 pm on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

            HamNeggs Posts: 79

            MT Jim72- 2nd Street West is not the only entrance to town from Canada. Many of our Canadian guests are from the Lethbridge/Medicine Hat area or even further east into Saskatchewan. They come down I-15 and over on Hwy 2. Thus...they enter town on Hwy 93 South just as the majority of guests to Whitefish do. As Hwy 93 turns into Spokane Avenue you have a corridor of mixed use (from 6th street to 4th). The 2nd Street West corridor already has similar mixed use in place all the way out to the golf course. With established commercial properties existing to the east and west of Mr. Zinke's proposed BB and Brewery, It is very logical to assume that the short stretch of 2nd St West in question will continue to trend toward mixed uses and/or more commercial uses. The upcoming streetscape/bike path project will only aid the progression. Whether the council approves Mr. Zinke's project or not, it is exactly what the corridor needs and will become in future anyway.

          • Rebel Rouser posted at 9:56 am on Mon, Dec 3, 2012.

            Rebel Rouser Posts: 1563

            If Rebel Rouser was applying for the PUD it would have been a resounding NO! However, since the current applicant has political influence, and cronyism is so alive and well in Montana, the planning staff, planning board, council members, and puppet masters will go to any length, ie., disregarding ALL planning/zoning rules, and bend over backwards to make this a "for sure", "you can do it" project. City/county level politics is the most disgusting level of politics, they NEVER represent the tax payers wishes because of all the "rules", yet will break any number of rules for their buddies!

          • MontanaJim72 posted at 8:44 pm on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

            MontanaJim72 Posts: 223

            Zinke parked his huge bus there when he was running for Lieutenant Governor. That was like a huge billboard in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The City of Whitefish looked the other way, even though that is the only entry to town from Canada, the customers that downtown Whitefish craves. Give Zinke his brewery, and there will be no end to the commercial development of that end of Whitefish.

          • MontanaJim72 posted at 8:34 pm on Sun, Dec 2, 2012.

            MontanaJim72 Posts: 223

            Zinke obviously has the City Council in his pocket.


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