On the Agenda: Whitefish Downtown Project, Kalispell Transportation Plan

By Beacon Staff

A downtown improvement project that includes major streetscape changes and a three-story parking garage could clear its first major hurdle tonight at Whitefish’s city council meeting at 7:10 p.m.

The council is expected to vote on a recommendation to approve the project’s conceptual design plans. Some residents, including business owners, have expressed concern over a variety of the project’s plans. Most notably, the streetscape plan will narrow Central Avenue and widen sidewalks. People have raised questions about how this would affect traffic flow, especially with snow berms in the middle of the street during winter.

Councilors are also expected to pass the final reading of the critical areas ordinance as part of the consent agenda. Also, at a 5:30 p.m. workshop, the council will discuss a city transportation plan.

Also to be discussed at the meeting:

-Ordinance allowing barber shops and beauty salons as conditional uses in multi-family residential zones
-Request from the city court judge to review the job description for the new city position of court administrator/lead clerk
-Creating a Whitefish business service zoning district
-Preliminary plat for Bear Paw Subdivision
-The length of council meetings
-Request to schedule a large landowner meeting, an extraterritorial planning jurisdiction meeting and a goal-setting session
-Request for appointment of council members to the weed control advisory committee and the Montana West Economic Development board

City Council tonight at 7 p.m. will take public comment on an update to the Kalispell Area Transportation Plan, which addresses the city and an area up to three miles outside city limits.

The city will also vote on the final plat of the first phase of Silverbrook Estates, which includes 107 single-family residential lots on 73 acres on the west side of U.S. Highway 93, about three quarters of a mile south of Church Drive.

The council will also consider illicit stormwater discharge regulations, as part of the city’s stormwater management program, and discuss several abandoned alleys around Flathead High School that could be converted to extra parking.