Zoning overlay sought for new Glacier Rail Park

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The Kalispell Planning Board will meet Tuesday to discuss a number of zoning and subdivision requirements not outlined in local development code for the forthcoming Glacier Rail Park, including fencing heights, paving, signs and private road standards.

The request from Flathead County Economic Development Authority seeks a planned-unit development overlay for the creation of a 41-acre, rail-served industrial facility built to serve the Northwest Montana region. The park will create 20 business lots on the east side of Whitefish Stage Road, north of East Oregon Street and west of East Oregon Lane.

Rail-reliant businesses currently located in the downtown Kalispell area will be relocated to the park upon its completion to make way for the redevelopment of the Core Area and the removal of the railroad tracks from downtown.

Development of the park will include upgrading several roads to meet city of Kalispell road standards, installing a storm-water collection and disposal system, extending city water and sewer service, adding a signaled intersection, providing dry utilities (gas, electricity, etc.) and construction of rail lines.

Limitations the planned-unit development application seeks to address include the timing of building permit issuance, the ability to gate the private road, a list of permitted uses on the property, allowable fence height, way-finding signs, paving standards, landscaping standards and standards for private roads serving a subdivision.

Immediately after the regular meeting, the board will hold a work session to discuss a request to expand the Town Pump’s existing fuel system operation through a planned-unit development application on its 6.9-acre parcel of land at the intersection of U.S. 93 South and Cemetery Road.

The project will include a new fuel canopy, new fuel islands, increased pedestrian access in the area through a new sidewalk along Cemetery Road, extension of public water and sewer to serve future development to the west and a new approach into the facility. The Planning Board must consider whether the application request is appropriate for the project and if there is any other information the board would need in order to make a recommendation to the City Council.

The work session also will cover the fourth phase of the Core Area rezone for downtown Kalispell.

The process will rezone all of the properties within the Core Area east of U.S. 93 through two separate phases, and from Main Street west to Fifth Street as part of phase three.

The fourth phase will rezone an area bordered by West Center Street to the south, West Idaho Street to the north, North Main Street to the east and Fifth Avenue West to the west.

The properties currently are zoned for commercial and light industrial uses.

The proposed zoning is based primarily on the Core Area Plan adopted in 2012, which set in motion steps to remove the railroad tracks from downtown Kalispell, reconnect disjointed streets and build a pathway system linking pedestrians to shops and parks.

The intent of the Kalispell Core Area is to allow a variety of both commercial and residential uses, with the intent of creating “a live/work environment.” Commercial uses could include a mix of retail, office, restaurant and other similar uses.

The meeting will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Kalispell City Hall.

For more information on the Planning Board’s agenda and minutes, visit http://www.kalispell.com/planning/Agenda.php.

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

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