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County board considers Evergreen RV park, event venue near Whitefish

by HEIDI DESCH
Hagadone News Network | April 2, 2024 12:00 AM

A new RV park in Evergreen and a property wanting to host large events southwest of Whitefish have both applied for approval with Flathead County.

The Flathead County Board of Adjustment on Tuesday considered a conditional use permit for an RV park along Montana 35 and East Cottonwood Drive, east of Kalispell. Separately it looked at a request for a conditional use permit for a recreational facility at 685 Twin Bridges Road, outside of Whitefish. 

The year-round RV park, proposed by East Park, LLC, of Bigfork, is expected to include 226 spaces on the 29.32-acre property. The property, zoned two-family residential and suburban residential, is currently used for alfalfa and hay production is undeveloped except for a barn structure planned to be removed.

The neighborhood is a mix of residential and commercial properties, with commercial properties typically found along Montana 35. 

The plan calls for 3.46 acres of open space and recreation area along the western side of the park by the freshwater pond and wetlands on the property. A 5,000-square-feet area of open space will also be required to be designated as a “tot-lot.” 

Main access to the park would be from Montana 35 and emergency access on East Cottonwood. The park is anticipated to generate up to 1,400 average daily trips, according to the traffic impact study submitted by the applicant. 

No permanent structures are planned to be constructed. The park would include 57 parking spaces for visitor and overflow parking. 

The park would be served by the Evergreen Water and Sewer District. 

The Twin Bridges Road property, owned by Stremick Ranch, located near Whitefish is looking to serve as a venue for up to six events per year that may include “weddings, reunions, wedding/baby showers, bachelor/bachelorette gatherings, etc.” with up to 250 attendees. Event space on the property could include a temporary tent and associated accessories such as tables and chairs, according to the application, and all temporary items will be erected and removed within two working days of the event. 

The property includes a single-family dwelling and a detached garage/barn. The existing driveway is proposed for access, but is planned to be widened to 20 feet to accommodate two-way traffic throughout the property.

Parking is proposed within one of the fields on the property for up to 50 cars. For events requiring more than 50 cars, guests will be shuttled from a predetermined location. 

The hours of operation for the facility will be restricted to between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. All amplified sound shall end by 10:30 p.m. 

THE BOARD also considered two other requests. 

Thomas and Annette DeLong are seeking a variance to regulations requiring that accessory structures be placed behind the principal structure in residential zones, to the front setback for a detached accessory structure and to the permitted lot coverage for the R-3 zone. The property is located at 20 Meadowlake Drive, Kalispell. 

The Flathead County Solid Waste District is requesting to expand the boundaries of the current landfill located off U.S. 93. The county public works director has notified the board of adjustment that he intends to expand the landfill by adding 111 acres in areas that are not zoned as such and is requesting to use agency exemption for the zoning districts to expand to the southwest. 

Features Editor Heidi Desch may be reached at 758-4421 or hdesch@dailyinterlake.com.