Whitefish planning officials are continuing to cull public comment on the corridor plan to help inform the future of land use for the city’s southern gateway.
The Highway 93 South Corridor Plan Steering Committee and the City of Whitefish have scheduled a public visioning workshop to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 6340 Highway 93 South in Whitefish. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.
“The purpose of the workshop is to get a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints about what is special about the highway corridor and needs to be preserved, and what needs to change and improve in the years ahead,” John Middleton, chairman of the steering committee, said. “Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend. The more citizens participate, the better the plan will be.”
The plan will focus on future land use for Highway 93 South from Sixth Street to Blanchard Lake Road south of Montana 40. The corridor is primarily zoned secondary business with some mixed use and residential land uses included.
The creation of a Highway 93 South corridor plan has long been a priority project for the city as set by Whitefish City Council.
The workshop is part of an ongoing public process that included an open house in September 2018 and will include a third public meeting later this spring. It will start promptly at 5:30 p.m. with a presentation and group exercises.
An online survey will also be introduced as part of the workshop and be available for the public to take in January and February on the city’s Long-Range Planning webpage at cityofwhitefish.org. The corridor plan will focus on Highway 93 South from 6th Street to Blanchard Lake Road south of Highway 40. The corridor is primarily zoned for highway commercial use with some adjacent residential land uses.
“We are very excited to have the public participate in this visioning workshop for Highway 93 South,” Dave Taylor, Whitefish Planning and Building director, said. “The plan will focus on future land uses, economic performance, transportation, design, and aesthetics. Come talk to your neighbors and help us shape the future of this important gateway into Whitefish that we all either live near, shop in, or drive through.”
The steering committee was created to work through the planning process with city staff to create a plan that would serve to guide future development along the corridor. The nine-person committee consists of two Whitefish City Council members, one city Planning Board member, two business owners in or adjacent to the corridor, two owner-occupants of residential property in or adjacent to the corridor, and two at-large city residents.
Planning staff outlined a draft timeline for a corridor plan that included creating a steering committee for the plan last spring, developing policies and the plan during the summer, having a review draft completed in the fall and a final draft potentially going before the planning board in February 2019.
The draft corridor study map includes an area with a northern boundary of East 6th Street south to Blanchard Lake Road. The eastern boundary is generally one block off the highway in the northern portion and then generally follows the Whitefish River south. The proposed western boundary stays to the east of Karrow Avenue.
Comments concerning the project may be mailed to: Hilary Lindh, City of Whitefish, Planning & Building, P.O. Box 158, Whitefish, MT 59937. Comments may also be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Participants attending the public workshop meeting are welcome to submit comments at that time.