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Commercial zoning on Highway 93 South

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As a long-time downtown Whitefish business and commercial property owner, I respectfully request that Whitefish City Council table for further consideration of the proposed WB-T zoning district (Transition District of business). The WB-T currently needs to make a final decision on your city council’s March 7 agenda, but the business community and the public need to have a better understanding of what’s on offer.

Many of the proposed commercial uses in the WB-T area are not even defined in the city’s zoning code. For example, what is light trade or wholesale and warehousing? And why does the WB-T zone, unlike the WB-3 zone which covers commercial uses in downtown Whitefish, allow the Director of Planning to simply approve its site plan, when if I understand correctly, businesses in the city center are held to much greater scrutiny and higher standards which are then submitted to the city council for approval?

It took years to build a healthy downtown Whitefish through careful and thoughtful planning. What is the precipitation? I know there is endless pressure on staff to approve zoning changes, but again, where does the pressure come from to approve this? There are so many unanswered questions and huge proposed changes to benefit commercial interests. Please put this new zoning on a working session of City Council so that unanswered questions can be raised and answered.

Susan Schnee, Whitefish