Kalispell Council Approves Hundreds of Housing Units

City councilors green-lit three housing developments that will bring additional single-family and townhome units to north Kalispell

By Maggie Dresser
Farm to Market Road northwest of Kalispell. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Kalispell City Council on Monday approved three separate housing development proposals that will add hundreds of units to the city.

The Creekside subdivision will add a total of 103 dwelling units on 25 acres on Farm to Market Road north of Three Mile Drive. The project will include 29 single-family residences and 74 townhouse units along with additional streets, parks and open space.

Several written public comments were sent to city officials in opposition of the proposal, with residents concerned about increased traffic, obstructed views, school volume and wildlife.

Councilor Ryan Hunter raised concerns about development on the wetland buffer and the increased density and traffic on historically rural roads in the area.

“I think there’s an issue here where we have these rural roads designed for rural, higher speed traffic … I think there has to be a choice between a freeway-like road with high speeds like our bypass through our community or an urban street,” Hunter said.

Councilors also approved a zone change request and a major preliminary plat for an eight-phase subdivision in north Kalispell that will cover 182 acres and 181 lots of detached single-family homes and attached single-family homes. The property was previously annexed in 2007.

Located south of Silverbrook Estates, the Stillwater Village project will also include streets, common areas and land held for future development with 20 acres set aside for a park area and park access.

Two people spoke during public comment in opposition of the project, voicing concerns about traffic, invasive lighting, density and wildlife impacts.

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

“The major area of concern is the traffic impact not only at the proposed development but all development in the area between Reserve and Church Street,” said Heather McDonald, the president of the HOA in a nearby neighborhood.

Rodney Fowler was also opposed to the project, describing the increased density as “consequential.”

Mayor Mark Johnson acknowledged that the new developments would impact traffic and change neighborhoods but assured public members that infrastructure would eventually accommodate the new neighborhoods.

“I like to say time and money solve all problems,” Johnson said. “Some of these things are going to take some time, but they do resolve themselves.”

The council approved a third development proposal called Bitterroot Heights located on Three Mile Drive that is planned to include 13 single-family lots on 4 acres.

Additionally, the council unanimously approved a conditional use permit that will allow A Ray of Hope Ministries, a local transitional housing nonprofit, to add an apartment to its facilities.

The expansion will allow the nonprofit to add a 1,280 square foot garage with an apartment on the second floor to provide housing for families in need of temporary housing.

“I think this is a great addition to allow families to stay together,” Hunter said.

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