Northern annexation considered by Kalispell council

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Two growth policy amendments will be up for a public hearing at the Kalispell City Council meeting tonight.

Council is considering the expansion of the city’s boundary to annex 240 acres at the intersection of Church Drive and U.S. 93 North.

Owners of the properties are interested in developing within Kalispell, and the city will be able to provide services to the area. The proposed land-use designations are for 16 acres of neighborhood commercial development, 14 acres of high-density residential, 70 acres of urban mixed use and 140 acres of suburban residential. The amendment would also extend the highway corridor buffer to the northern boundary.

According to the city planning staff report, annexation of this land meet the goals of the Kalispell Growth Policy. The planning staff points to current growth north of the city and the significant pressure to extend development along the U.S. 93 North corridor.

The land is currently in agricultural use and surrounds Majestic Valley Arena. The staff report states that “future conversion of this area from rural agriculture/commercial to urban mixed use, neighborhood commercial, suburban residential and high-density residential is unavoidable with the changing landscape, especially given the strip commercial zoning that has already been given to the properties through county zoning.”

The report also says the requested land use will provide the right mix of housing categories to meet the needs of present and future residents.

Goals and changes to the growth policy are meant to encourage orderly development, the report says. “This land-use designation change is a reasonable request due to the existing city development located immediately south of the proposed amendment and completion of infrastructure projects.”

The report notes that annexation also meets the Kalispell growth policy’s goals to “provide adequate areas within the community for commercial and industrial development that meets the needs of present and future business in terms of cost, type, design and location.”

An almost 6-acre vacant lot adjacent to 1151 N. Meridian Road, south of the UPS distribution center, is the focus of the second proposed growth policy amendment. The UPS facility is interested in expanding to the adjacent land and to move forward, the owner of the property is requesting a zone change from urban residential to urban mixed use.

A request to approve the final plat for phase 2 of Brightview Subdivision, a 13-lot commercial subdivision on 26 acres on Timberwolf Parkway, will also be discussed.

Council will also accept comments regarding consideration of an update to the wastewater treatment plant facility plan, vote on a resolution to adopt revisions to the city of Kalispell personnel policy handbook and hear a report from the street and tree committee on Tree City USA certification.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 201 First Ave. E.

Reporter Heidi Gaiser may be reached at 758-4438 or hgaiser@dailyinterlake.com.

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