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Whitefish Council looks at senior housing expansion, subdivion requests

by HEIDI DESCH
Daily Inter Lake | June 3, 2024 12:00 AM

Plans for the expansion of a senior housing development and a separate 73-lot housing subdivision both are before the Whitefish City Council on Monday.

The Springs at Whitefish is looking to add 124 additional units to its development on River Lakes Parkway. 

The housing development is proposed on Flathead Avenue with 14 townhome sites and 59 lots for single-family homes. 

City Council meets at 7:10 p.m. at City Hall, 418 E. Second St.

The Springs is seeking approval to build the project on vacant land to the south of the current facility. The new three-story building would include 80 independent living units connected to the existing building. Also part of the plan is a separate two-story building with 44 “active adult” multi-family units in varying sizes and number of bedrooms. 

The current assisted living and memory care facility is planned to be remodeled reducing the assisted living units by four while adding eight memory care units. 

The Springs, as part of its planned unit development request, is asking to increase the maximum allowable units from 150 to 202 total units. It is also seeking a building height variance from 35 to 45 feet. 

The plan calls for adding outdoor patio spaces, additional parking and a new 10-foot wide bike and pedestrian trail along the west and south property lines. 

The first phase of the project with independent living units is planned to begin next year with a completion by the end of 2027. The second phase with the active adult units is planned to be finished by 2030. 

The housing development, known as Whitetail Ridge, is proposed on 34 acres south and west of the O’Brien Bluffs neighborhood and north of the city’s Public Works shop property. About 10.5 acres is planned to be set aside as a park area. 

The development has drawn opposition over concerns that it doesn’t provide affordable housing and also doesn’t establish a full east-west connection between Karrow and Baker avenues. 

The developers are requesting an amendment to the growth policy, a zoning map amendment and a preliminary plat approval for the development. 

During a work session at 5:30 p.m., Council will review an update to the Sustainable Tourism Management Plan and continue discussion about its fiscal year 2025 goals. 

Deputy Editor Heidi Desch may be reached at 758-4421 or hdesch@dailyinterlake.com.