Kalispell Approves New Subdivisions, Core Area Street Connector

City officials hosted the meeting virtually with enhanced features to allow verbal participation in public comment

By Maggie Dresser
Kalispell City Hall on May 22, 2020. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Kalispell City Council unanimously approved two subdivision projects on the city’s west side and selected First Avenue West North as the street connector for the Core Area Development and Trail project at a virtual meeting on Sept. 8.

Councilors approved a preliminary plat for the Glenwood West project, a 3.6-acre, three-lot subdivision north of the Gateway Community Center. The development area extends west to Financial Drive, which the public works department is working to redesign because its right-of-way width varies, said Senior Planner PJ Sorensen.

There are currently two apartment buildings on the lots, which are in the initial phase of a multi-family development.

Two previous public comments included concerns about traffic impacts resulting from the project.

Separately, the council approved a final plat for the Cottage Gardens, which will include 37 single-family residential lots on 11.8 acres on Three Mile Drive.

The council also selected First Avenue North as the Core Area Street Connector under the U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER grant, which will connect from the north of the existing railroad corridor to the Kalispell Center Mall.

“I think this (connector) provides a really good opportunity to redevelop that area that we’ve already seen development in … and to be able to possibly expand in that area,” Councilor Chad Graham said.

“As far as approvals with the TIGER grant, this is the culminating vote,” Mayor Mark Johnson added. “This is one of those things where we talk for six years … about resetting and renewing downtown Kalispell.”

City officials plan to roll out a design this fall and hope to receive a bid for the connector in December with trail construction beginning next year, Development Services Director Jarod Nygren said.

Additionally, city officials enhanced the virtual Zoom meeting to allow the public to verbally participate. Community members can now pre-register and log into the meeting, where they can use the “hand raising” option if they wish to participate in public comment during the meeting.

While City Manager Doug Russell says there were three participants logged in, there was no verbal public comment throughout the meeting.

Meetings will be conducted virtually until further notice in response to dozens of unmasked community members entering council chambers in previous meetings, violating the state mask mandate.

City officials encourage the public to submit comments to publiccomment@kalispell.com or pre-register for the Zoom meeting. A link will be provided on the agenda at www.kalispell.com.

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