Council to Hear Critical Areas Ordinance

By Beacon Staff

The Whitefish City Council is ready to look at a long-awaited critical areas ordinance at tonight’s 7:10 p.m. council meeting. But first the council will gather input from the public at a work session starting at 4:30 p.m.

Both meetings will be held at council chambers at Whitefish City Hall.

The work session and the meeting could be the final steps of a months-long process of public hearings, committee meetings and research in drafting the ordinance, which is designed to outline regulations to protect sensitive drainage areas. Parts of the ordinance are controversial, including its proposed restrictions on development in slope areas and its conditions for reasonable-use exemptions.

The city may or may not vote on the ordinance at the council meeting.

Later in the meeting, City Attorney John Phelps will give an update on the city’s progress in looking for representation options for residents in the two-mile planning jurisdiction outside of city limits.

Also to be discussed at the 7:10 meeting:

-Identifying the parks maintenance building as an urban renewal project
-Appointing a committee to select a new parks and recreation director
-An ordinance establishing a two-year term for the deputy mayor