Apartments planned near Gateway Community Center

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A conditional-use permit request for a 120-unit apartment complex north of Gateway Community Center will be considered during a public hearing at tonightís Kalispell Planning Board meeting.

Husky Partners, LLC, of Kalispell is proposing five three-story buildings with 24 units each, plus a clubhouse. The site plan for the 4.23 acres also calls for private access driveways, 242 parking spaces and open-space areas. The developers are proposing a building height of 43 feet, which is within the 60-foot allowable height in the B-2 general commercial zoning district, according to the Planning Office staff report.

The property currently is an asphalt parking area and undeveloped land to the north and northwest of Gateway Community Center.

The development is predicted to add 60 students to the Kalispell school district.

The planning staff has recommended the Planning Board recommend approval of the conditional-use permit, subject to 14 conditions. One condition would require Husky Partners to demonstrate that the Gateway Community Center and TTEC meet the parking requirements outlined in Kalispell zoning ordinances. Another condition would require the developer to submit a traffic-impact study to the city, and provide a minimum of two pedestrian connections to Gateway Community Center for access to the bus stop.

Another condition would require Glenwood, Two Mile and Financial drives to be upgraded, including sidewalks, curb and gutter, street trees and boulevards adjacent to the applicantís property.

The board also will offer a list of proposed amendments to the Kalispell zoning ordinance. These include:

• Increasing the maximum building height in residential apartment zones from 40 to 45 feet. The current maximum height has created the need for proposed apartment developments to have flatter roofs, creating more industrial-style designs. Adding 5 feet would allow for pitched roofs.

• Adding aircraft hangars in the light industrial zone.

• Adjusting the allowable density within residential planned-unit developments.

• Adding entrance corridor development standards along the main arterials entering and exiting the city. These would create buffer areas in which development would be limited to items such as landscaping, bike paths and monument signs.

• Sign and lighting rule changes, including eliminating a requirement for architectural review of wall signs, treating signs within faux windows as wall signs and adding an exception for low-wattage ornamental lighting. The latter would, for example, allow restaurants to string lights around outside seating areas.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. at Kalispell City Hall, 201 First Ave. E.

Reporter Heidi Gaiser may be reached at 758-4438 or hgaiser@dailyinterlake.com.

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