Council looks to install Core Area zoning

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The Kalispell City Council tonight will vote on putting a new zoning designation in the city code, a prelude to zone changes that will blanket the city’s Core Area.

Two weeks ago, the council approved the first reading of the B-3 zone, which mirrors the B-2 zone found in most of the downtown district. The new zone allows for increased building heights and multifamily development, while cutting all setback requirements between buildings and prohibiting heavy industrial use between Idaho Street and Center Street.

The amendment to the city zoning code will mark the first steps by the city in changing the Core Area along the railroad tracks toward a more developed and pedestrian-friendly district.

City planning and zoning officials plan to incrementally transition most, if not all, properties in the Core Area to the new B-3 zoning classification once it has been added to the city code. The public outreach process would begin after council approves the zone.

The council also will take a final vote on amending zoning for the Moose’s Saloon property as the first parcel under the B-3 zone if council approves the zone creation.

Council member Phil Guiffrida voted against the first reading because the B-3 zone had not yet officially been installed in city code. City Planning and Building Director Tom Jentz responded that approving planned-unit developments for new subdivisions is done the same way. The measure passed 5-2, with Guiffrida and council member Chad Graham voting against it.

In other business, the council will vote on the final plats for two new subdivisions, Glacier Village Greens and Meadows at Four Mile.

Glacier Village Greens subdivision is entering its development phase. Go Development LLC has applied for a 14-lot townhouse subdivision within the existing Glacier Village Greens subdivision. Sands Surveying is representing Go Development in the city permitting process.

Sands Surveying is also representing the Meadows at Four Mile developers in applied for a two-lot subdivision. The subdivision currently contains a clubhouse and 32 of the 138 units proposed in 2006. A new owner is requesting to separate the developed portion of property from the rest. The new owner will take over the undeveloped properties and follow through with the development.

The council will also hold a public hearing on vacating a portion of Mission Street and allowing Immanuel Lutheran to acquire ownership. Immanuel Lutheran already owns the property surrounding the street segment, which ends at a storage facility owned by Immanuel Lutheran. If the city releases ownership of the street portion, that area would become part of the tax base. After the public hearing, the council will vote on vacating the street portion.

The city council meeting begins today at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 201 First Ave. East.


Reporter Seaborn Larson may be reached at 758-4441 or by email at slarson@dailyinterlake.com.

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