Montana Resort Seeks to Lift RV Stay Time Limits
A proposal to allow Class A motorhomes to stay for up to seven months at the Viking Creek development near The Lodge at Whitefish Lake in northwest Montana is the focus of a public hearing tonight (Nov. 19) before the Whitefish City-County Planning Board.
Dan Averill, who along with Sean Averill and Brian Averill owns The Lodge, now is developing the Viking Creek project across Wisconsin Avenue, according to the Daily Inter Lake, Kalispell, Mont.
The first phase of Viking Creek includes a $5 million hotel addition and spa that will open next summer. A sky bridge over Wisconsin will connect the addition to the lakefront luxury lodge.
It’s in the second-phase area of Viking Creek where Averill is seeking an amendment to allow motorcoaches to park on private lots for up to seven months per calendar year. Zoning regulations currently limit RV stays for 30 days.
RV parks and campgrounds are conditional uses under both the limited-resort and general-resort business districts that encompass much of the Viking Creek property.
The property is undeveloped but eventually will contain 17 single-family homes. As part of the conditions, covenants and restriction for Phase II, those who buy lots will be obligated to build a home within five years of purchase.
“For a period of time the neighborhood may only contain the motorcoaches, which is a different character than the existing surrounding neighborhood,” the planning staff report noted. “However, the appearance will not be maintained in perpetuity and will evolve into a regular neighborhood with homes.”
The design allows the RVs to be tucked into the wooded site as much as possible, reducing the visual impact, the report said.
A key feature of the development is a 30-acre wetlands set-aside that has been deeded as a conservation preserve to the Whitefish Lake Institute.
The Whitefish planning staff has recommended approval of Averill’s requested amendment.