Board looks at bar expansion; neighborhood plan; corridor plan

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The Montana Tap House is proposing to expand their current building with a new kitchen space.

The Montana Tap House on Wisconsin Avenue is looking to expand its operations by adding onto its building.

The Resich Family Partnership, owners of the business, are requesting a conditional use permit from the city to expand the bar and restaurant. Plans call for constructing an 868-square-foot addition onto the south side of the existing building to add an internal restaurant.

The business already has a CUP to operate a bar/tavern without restaurant services, but the expansion requires a second CUP. The Tap House is in the WB-1 zone, which requires a CUP for any commercial building where the total floor area is over 4,000 square feet. The existing building is 6,150 and the proposed addition would bring the building to about 7,018-square-feet.

The change will require the owner to add additional parking, which is planned at four additional spaces for a total of 50 spaces on the site. No landscaping changes are required because the property already meets landscaping requirements.

Hours of operation are expected to remain the same at Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Planning staff is recommending approval with 12 conditions.

Also on the agenda are two items that were pushed from the January meeting to this month.

The Planning Board will take a look at a request by the Whitefish 57 LLC for a 70-acre neighborhood plan, an amendment to the 2007 growth policy, to change the suburban and rural land use designations to urban and high density land use designations. The plan looks to guide the future development of the properties for an area bordered to the east by Highway 93 South, to the north by Park Knoll Lane and to the south by JP Road.

Densities for the properties could be in the range of 300 to 350 residential units with commercial designations along the highway frontage, according to the applicant. If approved, the neighborhood plan would only change the land use designations on the area and any development would have to first get approval for a zoning change, subdivision or planned unit development before moving ahead.

Planning staff is recommending approval of the growth policy amendment subject to a half dozen conditions.

Finally, the Planning Board will review the city’s Wisconsin Avenue corridor plan as an addendum to the growth policy.

The plan looks at how the corridor, which has seen yearly increases in traffic and use, should continue to develop over the next two decades, examines future land uses, motorized and non-motorized transportation, infrastructure, economic performance and potential improvements.

The corridor boundary is from the Edgewood Place and Wisconsin Avenue intersection north of the viaduct down to the Houston Drive/Big Mountain Road intersection of East Lakeshore Drive. The study boundary is generally one block of Wisconsin Avenue on either side, although some areas are larger or smaller depending on the adjacent land use or ownership.

Planning staff is recommending the planning board make any changes needed to the document and recommend approval of the plan to City Council.

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