Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Land-use changes proposed along Airport Road

Daily Inter Lake | April 5, 2021 12:00 AM

Planning for the future of land surrounding Airport Road tops the Kalispell City Council’s agenda tonight.

The city is looking into making timely changes to the Kalispell Growth Policy Future Land Use Map for the 75-acre patchwork of land along Airport Road, stretching from Begg Park to the intersection with the U.S. 93 bypass.

Montana municipalities are obligated by the state to update their land-use policies every five years. It’s therefore time for the city to review its Future Land Use Map, and the stage seems to be set for multiple changes along the Airport Road corridor.

“In an effort to stay in tune with changing conditions, staff is proposing a number of growth policy map amendments to better reflect future development demands based on recent public infrastructure improvements,” the meeting agenda states.

There are four major designation changes under consideration as part of the proposed map overhaul.

A 27-acre parcel surrounding the intersection of Airport Road, the U.S. 93 Bypass and Cemetery Road would change from a conglomeration of industrial, suburban residential and urban residential zones, to two almost equally sized zones designated neighborhood commercial and high density residential.

Twenty-one acres of land to the west of the Airport Road and Cemetery Road intersection would go from industrial zoning to urban residential.

On the east side of Airport Road, 25 acres of land would be changed from an urban residential designation to a public zone, owned by Kalispell School District 5.

Finally, a 2.2-acre tract of industrial land on the west side of Airport Road, north of Ashley Creek, would be zoned for urban residential use.

These changes were recommended by the Kalispell Planning Board during a public hearing held March 9.

At the meeting tonight, the council will be asked to state its resolution of intent to adopt, amend, or reject these growth policy amendments.

The council will have a public hearing on the proposed changes at its April 19 meeting, and a formal decision is expected at the council’s May 3 meeting.

CHANGES ARE also afoot north of the city, at 176 Parkridge Drive, where Kalispell Public Schools Student Built Homes, LLC, is requesting re-subdivision of a major preliminary plat.

The KPS program is asking that the 0.42-acre lot be re-subdivided into two lots, making way for a second buildable lot on the west side of the existing lot.

During the March 9 public hearing with the Kalispell Planning Board, this request was recommended with 20 conditions, outlined in the meeting agenda.

The last agenda item for Monday’s meeting is the second reading to adopt 2018 international fire and energy codes.

The council considered replacing its 2012 codes with the 2018 updates during a meeting on March 15, but council member Sid Daoud voted against adopting the new codes. Daoud said he felt it would be premature to adopt the 2018 codes, prompting the city to bring the codes back again for a second reading on Monday.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. on April 5. Participants can join the meeting remotely at or submit public comment via email to

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 758-4459 or