Council Approves Final Plat for Subdivision in South Kalispell

The 24-lot development will add townhouse units to inventory; city also receives offer for another Old School Station lot

By Maggie Dresser
Kalispell City Hall on March 16, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Kalispell City Council unanimously approved the final plat for a 24-lot townhouse subdivision on almost 4 acres on South Woodland Drive, and councilors also voted to proceed with the sale of a lot at Old School Station in south Kalispell at the March 15 council meeting.

Councilors approved the Jaxon Ridge Subdivision preliminary plat with 20 conditions in 2019. Since the subdivision would lie near a wetland area, Councilor Ryan Hunter voiced concerns about the project, although he ultimately voted in favor of the project due to the fact that the process was already in its final stages, despite his disagreement with the development.

“This project is on the slough, which is a wetland, and our city code calls for a wetland buffer of 100 feet for developments near wetlands and that wasn’t applied in this case,” Hunter said.

According to Senior Planner PJ Sorensen, the building line for the project’s back lots is 65 feet from the waterline and 20 feet above the water, and the building department uses those figures to determine the “depth of the foundation relative to the slope,” which is reviewed at the time of the building permit.

City Manager Doug Russell reminded councilors that the purpose of the final plan’s vote was to confirm that conditions were met.

“They’ve met those conditions, whether or not (councilors) agree with those conditions,” Russell said.

Separately, councilors voted unanimously to proceed with an above listing price offer of $242,500 from Kurt Simonson on Lot 8 of Old School Station, part of a six-parcel property south of downtown off of U.S. Highway 93 that Kalispell acquired in 2015.

The agreement includes $5,000 in earnest money and reductions if the buyer agrees to complete new construction on the site within 18 months of sale. The purchaser will also be eligible for reimbursements if they meet the terms and conditions of the Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District.

The city became responsible for the property’s past due taxes and assessments in 2015, and the council passed a resolution to retain and sell the lots at the appraised prices to avoid defaulting on Special Improvement District Bonds.

The properties were listed for sale in 2017 in the TIF District at Old School Station. Five of the six lots have been sold or are currently under contract.

“It’s nice to see this come to fruition,” Mayor Mark Johnson said.

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