Kalispell Approves Slate of Housing Developments

Single-family and multi-family units will be added to the city's housing inventory

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

The Kalispell City Council approved several housing developments at its June 21 meeting, adding both single- and multi-family homes to the city.

A conditional-use permit was granted to the property developer of the Third Avenue East Apartments, which will add 48 units with parking and recreational amenities on roughly 2 acres. The council unanimously approved it, but Councilor Ryan Hunter raised concerns.

Hunter made a failed motion to amend a condition of the permit, in which he wanted to require the developer to re-vegetate an area with native shrubs to provide better habitat for a nearby slough.

“I continue to see weaknesses and loopholes in our riparian buffer standard,” Hunter said. “This brings another to the forefront where it doesn’t apply to conditional-use permits … However, we are in desperate need of more multi-family housing.”

On Kalispell’s west side, council approved a preliminary plat for West View Estates’ 34 single-family lots east of Stillwater Road. Hunter opposed the development and questioned why the area couldn’t be used for multi-family housing.

“I want to see density,” Hunter said. “We’re in a housing crisis and part of this housing crisis has to do with the inadequate supply on all fronts … We need to be as efficient with our use of land as we can.”

Council unanimously approved a preliminary plat for the Hutton Ranch Apartments Subdivision, which will include four buildings with 96 units, a parking lot and recreational amenities that could include a basketball court, barbecue area, gazebos and playground equipment.

“It’s nice to see developers wanting to do this and add to the housing stock that we definitely need,” Councilor Tim Kluesner said.

Separately, council also approved a conditional-use permit for an accessory casino for The Ritz Bar and Salon, located in the current Kalispell Bar on Main Street.

Three people spoke during public comment in support of the accessory casino, saying it would help downtown businesses thrive.

Council also approved a conditional-use permit for J & S Automotive on West Montana Street.

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