54-unit housing complex planned in Whitefish

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More apartment housing is planned in Whitefish, this time with 54 apartments planned in two buildings on Skyles Place.

The Whitefish Planning Board on Thursday will hold a public hearing on a conditional-use permit request from 519 Skyles Place LLC to build the housing complex on property that has three residential homes, an auto repair business and storage buildings. Those buildings would be removed to make way for two apartment buildings, with 18 studio and 12 one-bedroom units in the north building and 12 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom units in the south building.

The property is zoned for high-density, multifamily residential development that would permit up to 57 dwelling units on this 1.5-acre parcel, according to the Whitefish Planning Office staff report. A height limit of 35 feet is allowed under current zoning, and three-story buildings are proposed.

Residents of the proposed apartment buildings are anticipated to generate about 395 new weekday trips at full build-out. The staff report noted a 2009 Transportation plan identified a series of improvements on Wisconsin Avenue, including a left-hand turn lane onto Skyles Place.

“A helpful way for this project to work with the city to implement a plan at this intersection would be to pay a share of the improvements,” the report stated, noting the developer’s portion of the left-hand turn lane improvement — estimated to cost roughly $424,306 — would be around $11,000.

“Staff recommends a condition of approval be added that ‘cash in lieu of left-hand turn land’ be paid prior to submitting an application for a building permit,” the staff report notes. “The city will place this money in a fund to be held until the time of the project.”

Several other public hearings are on the agenda, including a request by Louise Fisher for preliminary-plat approval of a 15-lot subdivision on undeveloped property at 133 Armory Road. The property is zoned one-family limited residential.

Don Kaltschmidt of Eagle Enterprises LLC is asking for a conditional-use permit to add 2,250 square feet to an existing body shop at the Don K Whitefish car dealership. Commercial zoning in that area requires a conditional-use permit for an expansion of an existing structure that causes the footprint to be 15,000 square feet or greater. In this case the existing building is 14,110 square feet.

Heidi Schley-Jacobson is seeking a conditional-use permit to build an accessory apartment at 1660 W. Lakeshore Drive.

Will MacDonald, on behalf of the Quarry Joint Venture LLC, is asking for a zone change for three lots that are split-zoned business and residential to convert them all to business zoning. The property has a vacant car wash and a coffee stand along Wisconsin Avenue.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at Whitefish City Hall.

News Editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.

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