Zoning changes for Idaho Timber site approved

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Paving the way for a potential use of the property, Whitefish City Council Oct. 2 unanimously approved zoning changes for the former Idaho Timber site.

The property located off of Karrow Avenue is about 14 acres in size and sits along the Whitefish River. 95 Karrow LLC requested the rezone of the property from industrial to industrial transitional and neighborhood mixed-use transitional.

The property is part of the city’s Highway 93 West corridor plan adopted in 2015. The plan is designed to guide future development of the city’s west entrance from the Veterans Memorial Bridge to Mountainside Drive.

The plan calls for the rezoning of the property to the two requested zones, noted city Senior Planner Wendy Compton-Ring.

“The growth policy identifies the parcels as industrial transitional and mixed-use transition. These are land uses designed in the Highway 93 West plan, which is an amendment to the growth policy,” she said. “Under the plan, the property was included as an opportunity for new development.”

It was identified in the plan that lower intensity industrial and manufacturing uses would be appropriate for the site, she noted.

Just under 6 acres of the property is being rezoned for industrial transitional. The section of the property includes a vacant building near the entrance of the site off of Karrow Avenue near a residential neighborhood.

The industrial transitional district is “intended for the gradual transition on vacant or underutilized sites that were traditionally used for heavy manufacturing to adaptive, clean industries and business incubators.”

Permitted uses in the industrial transitional zone, include light industrial facilities, professional offices, live/work units and warehouses.

In addition, about 8 acres of the property along the river is being rezoned to neighborhood mixed-use transitional, which is intended for transitional development in areas that are moving from their traditional uses and lots that primarily border either the river or industrial zone property.

The zoning is intended for high density residential, professional offices, light manufacturing, light assembly and ancillary services to provide a performance based mixed use environment with a recreational amenity, a community gateway, and adaptive use areas.

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