Planning board considers new mixed-use buildings

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Two separate requests to construct commercial buildings in Whitefish will be considered by the city Planning Board at its Thursday meeting.

Jim and Lisa Stack are requesting a conditional-use permit to construct a commercial building at 615 and 625 Wisconsin Ave. The building is proposed to be used as either for a professional office, personal service, and/or art gallery.

Mark Panassidi is also seeking a CUP to develop a three-story mixed use building on East Second Street. The building is planned to include residential units and commercial space.

For the proposed building on Wisconsin, the Stacks are requesting to construct a building on the two lots that each currently include single-family residences. The new building is planned to be two-story about 8,000-square-feet in size constructed on 1.14 acres just north of Denver Avenue.

The plan calls for 27 parking spaces on the site, set to the rear of the property and along the southern property boundary.

The property is zoned low density multi-family residential.

City Planner Bailey Minnich, in her staff report, notes that the neighborhood is characterized by a variety of commercial uses including the Stumptown Ice Den, Alpine Market and multiple professional commercial buildings and multi-family residential buildings.

“The use appears to be compatible with the surround community character,” she notes.

Planning staff is recommending approval of the CUP with 18 conditions.

For the proposed building on East Second, Panassidi is looking to develop a mixed-use building, called Panassidi Flats, on vacant property adjacent to the Whitefish Community Center.

The proposal calls for a three-story building on the .21 acre lot. The ground floor would include commercial space and one residential unit. Six residential units would be located on the second and third floors.

Access is proposed off O’Brien Avenue to the south of the building where eight parking spaces are proposed. Outdoor spaces include a concrete terrace on the ground floor and private balconies on the second and third floors.

The property is zoned general business district and is in the Old Town central district and the Old Town railway district.

Senior Planner Wendy Compton-Ring in her staff reports says the building would be located downtown, which is a variety of commercial, residential and retail uses.

“The proposed uses are compatible with the downtown and help to implement the downtown master plan,” she notes.

Planning staff is recommending approval of the project with 12 conditions.

The Planning Board has a full agenda that night.

Also being considered is a request for a five-lot subdivision, known as Mountain Maple, adjacent to the west of the Maple Ridge neighborhood. Owners Andree’ Larose and Henry Elson are seeking to create the subdivision on 4.19 acres with the lots fronting on Haugen Heights Road.

Planning staff has recommended approval of the preliminary plat with 14 conditions.

CUP requests to construct two separate accessory apartments will be considered. Mireille Bierens is requesting to construct an apartment on Park Avenue. Dorinda Gray and Cory Utterback are asking to construct an apartment on Columbia Avenue.

The city is also seeking four separate rezones for several properties. Zoning is being changed from county to city designations after the properties were recently annexed into city limits.

The Planning Board meets March 16 at 6 p.m. at interim City Hall.

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