With summer right around the corner, many people in the Flathead are ready to get their boats in the water, but in Whitefish there's only one public marina -- Whitefish Lake Lodge. Thursday night the Whitefish Planning Board held a meeting to discuss the expansion to the marina.
The marina is requesting a major lake shore variance. They recently bought more property to the south of them, which allows them to expand their boat slips in the marina because they have the lake shore frontage. According to city regulations, they are allowed nine more boat slips, but they are requesting 18 -- or an extra nine.
They are also requesting to change their planned unit development which was established in 1990. This says the marina is only allowed 85 slips, but since they have the extra lakeshore footage, they want to expand.
The planning board decided to recommend a denial to the request, because the extra nine boat slips simply don’t meet regulations. However, the marina still has some options to expand.
"They can at least have the nine, that is something that is allowed under regulations. They could get a permit for that meeting all of the regulations and things like that. It's that second nine, that really is, is there enough of a public benefit to warrant those to be approved for those second nine?" said Whitefish City Planner Bailey Minnich.
The city council of Whitefish will vote on whether to allow Whitefish Lake Lodge to expand the marina from 85 to 103 boat slips on Monday, June 16.