Affordable housing project gains approval

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A project aimed at creating affordable workforce housing in Whitefish received unanimous approval recently from City Council.

The Alta Views, formerly known as Deer Creek condominiums, off JP Road is a 53-lot townhouse subdivision. Council approved a preliminary plat for the project.

Mark Panasiddi aims to convert the existing 29 condos as part of the development into townhouses and construct 127 new townhouses.

Ten affordable housing units are planned as part of the project, as originally approved for the Deer Creek at Whitefish project. City Council in 2005 approved the Deer Creek project, which resulted in infrastructure and the condo units being constructed in 2007, but the affordable housing units were never complete.

“When we starting looking at this condo project we wanted to create townhouse lots and open up a new avenue for affordability,” he said. “We will do our best to create as much workforce housing as possible.”

Bruce Boody, landscape architect working on the project, said changes from the original project include smaller buildings, reduced density, road changes and an increase in open space areas.

“This is a much different project than before,” he said. “We will have the ten units as affordable housing working with the city. We expect 80 to 90 percent of the rest will fit within the affordable housing guidelines.”

During pubic comment, Joan Vetter Ehrenberg was enthusiastic of the project.

“This is the development we’ve needed for 12 years,” she said. “This is affordable housing — let’s do it.”

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