Council approves condo project

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Whitefish City Council last week approved a plan for small condominium cabins on West Second Street.

Council approved a request by GMJ LLC conditional-use permit to develop 14 freestanding cabins on Second. Located north of the Karrow Avenue intersection access is proposed off West Second Street and West First Street.

Garth Boksich, of GMJ LLC, said the plan is to develop one- and two-bedroom cabins between 725- and 1,200-square-feet in size.

“The goal is to keep these for affordable workforce housing at under $300,000,” he said. “We want to sell to people who want smaller homes and we want to keep it affordable.”

A meandering sidewalk is proposed within the development. A CUP is required because more than one principal use is proposed on the lot.

The site is currently undeveloped and zoned WR-3 or low density multi-family residential. The Highway 93 West corridor plan, an amendment of the growth policy, designates the property as neighborhood mixed use transitional, which corresponds to the WR-3 zoning district.

Boksich requested Council remove a condition of the CUP recommended by city planning staff that a parking lot along West Second Street be relocated behind residential structures.

“The parking lot on Second provides a buffer to the busy, noisy street from the residences,” he said. Council agreed, removing the condition.

However, Boksich’s request to decrease the number of required parking spaces was denied.

He argued the cabins will be of similar size to one-bedroom and efficiency apartments and should only be required to provide the same amount of parking as those types of developments.

Recently changed parking regulations for off-street parking for multi-family units requires 1.25 space for studio/efficiency apartments and 1.5 space per one-bedroom apartment.

Parking for the condo cabins is being provided at a rate of two spaces per unit.

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