Among the items addressed during a long meeting of the Whitefish City Council on Nov. 6, were annexations with zone changes, amendments to city code and the reconstruction of Karrow Avenue. 
The council voted unanimously to approve a zone change and planned unit development for two parcels on Edgewood Place. 
One of the two parcels, 808 Edgewood Place is currently undeveloped and was zoned WR-4, high-density multifamily residential, and WLR, one-family limited residential. The other parcel, 830 Edgewood Place, is developed with a single-family home and was zoned WLR. Both parcels were re-designated WR-2, or two-family residential zoning.
The council also approved the residential planned unit development to develop 42 multi-family dwelling units in two buildings on the 1.66 acres. One building is located along the northern property line and will have 26 units while the other is situated to the east with 16 units. 
The planned layout of the buildings shows smaller building sizes closer to the street and the larger portions of the buildings towards the north, near the recently approved Whitefish Community Corridor development.
It is yet to be determined whether the housing, all one or two-bedroom units, will be rentals, ownership condominiums or a combination of both. 
The applicants, Holbrook McCartney and Ben Davis, propose making eight of the units, or 19%, deed restricted for affordability. Those units will range in price from 50-80% area median income for rentals and 80-120% AMI for ownership units.
The two incentives they chose from the city’s voluntary Legacy Homes Program in exchange for the affordable units are additional building height, up to 40 feet, and a reduction in the number of required parking spaces, from 76 to 66. Thirty-one of the parking spaces will be uncovered and 35, covered. 
“We are recommending that a tree preservation plan in compliance with the new landscaping chapter be submitted,” said Whitefish Senior Planner Wendy Compton-Ring. “There are some nice big trees out there so potentially they can be located in open space areas.” 
The applicants completed a traffic impact study that found at peak buildout, the project will generate 19 a.m. and 24 p.m. peak-hour trips. 
The Whitefish planning board recommended approval of the project after adding a condition requiring the installation of a wall or fence along the western edge of the parking lot to prevent headlights from shining on 824 Edgewood Place, a property that is surrounded by the project.
Majory Uy lives at 824 Edgewood Place and the proposed development would, as she wrote to council, “engulf” her property, with the driveway of the apartment complex to the west of her home and buildings with parking lots to the east and north. 
“Ben (Davis) had directly mentioned to me that he is OK with demolishing his current home as he can build and live on another property he owns.” Uy wrote. “We, his neighbors, do not have the luxury of moving elsewhere, especially in town.”

THE COUNCIL also approved an annexation for a 2.33-acre property located at 270 Lake Park Lane along with a zone change to WR-2, or two-family residential.
Two conditions on the annexation are that a 10-foot right-of-way along Lake Park Lane, along with a 20-foot right-of-way and 10-foot public access and utility easement along the western edge of Salmon Run must be dedicated to the city.
Aside from the applicant’s representative, Doug Kauffman of TD&H Engineering, there were no public comments at the meeting. However, Jay C. Moon, president of the Maple Ridge subdivision which is adjacent to the Lake Park Lane property, sent a letter to council outlining concerns and questions.

A ZONING text amendment that consolidates three boards into one was approved unanimously by the council. The Board of Adjustment, Planning Board and Zoning Commission will now be known as the Community Development Board. 
“Senate Bill 130 gives us the opportunity to consolidate some of our boards,” Whitefish City Planner David Taylor said and noted that the city has struggled to fill seats on volunteer boards. “(The new board) has the role of a planning board or zoning commission which makes decisions based on where zoning should occur in the city … as well as a board of adjustment which hears variance requests to the zoning code.”
The Community Development Board’s rulings on variances are binding and they will make recommendations to the Whitefish City Council for all other items.
The new board, like the current planning board, will be made up of seven members including one member of the city council, one Flathead County resident and five citizens of Whitefish. 
The new board will meet on the third Thursday of each month. The planning board will cease to exist on Dec. 20, and the city will conduct interviews on Dec. 4 to fill the seats of the new board.
“Melding these … boards is the really the right thing to do,” Councilor Steve Qunell said, then, addressing the audience, added. “If you have any interest in the future of our city, this is the board to apply for.”
Taylor said while they were amending the text, they did some housekeeping to the code, adding standards to LED lighting in the dark skies ordinance and making revisions to the zoning compliance permit chapter.
The Whitefish Planning Board held a public hearing on Oct. 19 and unanimously recommended approval of the amendments as did the city staff.

THE KARROW Avenue Reconstruction Project is the next project on the Resort Tax priority list. The council approved the design and authorized staff to proceed with the final design and bidding.
Heavy vehicular traffic volume, unsuitable roadway conditions and the need for a bike/ped connection between West Second Street and West Seventh Street were the elements that put Karrow Avenue high on the priority list.
According to Whitefish Public Works Director Craig Workman’s report, final engineering design will begin immediately. The project will go out for bids in early March 2024, construction will begin in May and last 150 days.
The total estimated cost for the entire Karrow Avenue Reconstruction Project is $3.7 million and is slated to be paid by the resort tax fund.
The city standard for an urban collector like Karrow Avenue includes a 32-feet wide roadway with curb and gutter, but staff recommended a reduced width of 28 feet to help calm traffic and maintain as much boulevard as possible.
A shared-use path will be constructed between West Second Street and West Seventh Street on the east side of Karrow Avenue. The water main that runs the entire length of the project is in good condition. 
Staff recommended 14-foot tall, dark sky-compliant decorative LED street lighting. The exterior lighting provides safe roadways for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians while protecting the ability to view the night sky.
The Public Works Department will work with Parks and Recreation and the Tree Committee to determine a tree planting plan in the boulevard as construction nears completion. 
The roadway will be closed to through traffic during construction to allow residents that live along Karrow Avenue to access their properties while preventing other vehicles from driving through the construction.

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