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Planning Board decision could create 100 new beds for homeless

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | October 12, 2021 12:00 AM

A proposal before the Kalispell Planning Board on Tuesday will have far-reaching ramifications for the city’s homeless population.

Samaritan House, a nonprofit that has been running a Kalispell homeless shelter for many years, is asking for a zone change that would significantly increase the organization’s capacity.

Samaritan House’s proposal could potentially create up to about 100 new beds.

First, Samaritan House will need to receive approval to rezone its property at 1110 2nd Street West. The nonprofit took ownership of the former armory in 2008. It’s located southwest of Samaritan House’s current office and just north of Peterson Elementary School on Meridian Road.

The 2.42-acre property is currently zoned P-1, a zone “intended to provide and reserve areas for public uses in order to preserve and provide land for community facilities which serve the public health, safety and general welfare.”

Samaritan House is seeking to rezone the property to B-3 (Core Area Business) in order to add multi-family housing units on the site.

That way, Samaritan House would move its kitchen into the armory building, which would be renovated. Relocating the kitchen would free up space for approximately 26 beds in the current shelter facility.

Samaritan House also hopes to build new two and three-bedroom units designed to accommodate families with a single income. The plans call for approximately 15 to 25 multi-family units.

If the Planning Board approves the zone change request, the Kalispell City Council will take up the issue at an upcoming meeting.

A second zone change request, along with a conditional use permit application, is also on the Planning Board agenda for Tuesday.

Meridian Investments, LLC is asking to rezone a one-acre property at 41 Meridian Court from R-4 (Residential) to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) in order to add multi-family dwelling units onsite.

The meeting is open to the public. It starts at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 201 First Avenue East.

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com.