Whitefish

Aerial view of Bozeman, 2008.
Jonesey/Flickr (CC-by-2.0)

Montana’s fastest growing city is moving one step closer on a plan intended to tackle affordable housing.

State wildlife officials euthanized a grizzly bear that was suffering from a gunshot wound late last month. State and federal officials are now asking for information on who shot the bear near Whitefish.

A handful of anti-Semitic flyers were left on the doorsteps of Whitefish businesses earlier this week. The Montana Human Rights Network believes it was a targeted attack as the local Jewish community begins Rosh Hashanah or the Jewish new year. 

Screenshot of development projects in Bozeman from the city's Community Developer Viewer, July 18, 2019.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

A non-profit organization that serves more than 12,000 people in southwest Montana is updating its community needs assessment. It helps determine which projects get the green light and affects how millions of dollars are allocated. Communities across Park, Gallatin and Meagher Counties identified affordable housing as one of the top priorities in the last assessment three years ago.

An emotional Tanya Gersh testified for more than an hour in federal court in Missoula Thursday in her lawsuit against neo-Nazi website publisher Andrew Anglin.

Gersh is the Whitefish realtor who was targeted by Anglin, who told readers of his website, The Daily Stormer, to unleash a “troll storm” against her, her family and the small local Jewish community.

Lake County is updating its growth policy plan this summer. Tuesday, county planners hosted the last of five public meetings to hear what local residents think should be addressed in the plan due later this fall.

The county hosted a slew of open houses over the past two weeks to hear what local residents think about development, land use and protecting natural and cultural resources as Lake County continues to grow.

As the state ramps up its efforts this year to screen boats for invasive species, some local groups have taken inspections into their own hands.

The City of Whitefish and the Whitefish Lake Institute, for example, have been running two city-funded mandatory check stations since Memorial Day at the only public boat launches on Whitefish Lake. The Whitefish Lake Institute, a local nonprofit that monitors water quality on the lake, also runs a decontamination station.

Whitefish joined a growing number of U.S. cities pledging to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement Monday night. Citing potential threats to human health, ecosystems and the economy, Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld said the city will make mitigating climate change a priority.

"The City of Whitefish will increase its efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice," Muhlfeld said.

Affordable housing is becoming increasingly hard to find in Whitefish, as second homeowners, mostly from out of state, scoop up real estate and landlords turn their usual long-term rentals into vacation rentals. For people working the low-wage service industry jobs that sustain the area’s tourism economy, there aren’t a lot of options.

Flathead County Commissioners today took a step towards legalizing and regulating short-term housing rentals outside of incorporated towns. Vacation rentals by owner, or VRBOs, are currently illegal outside of Kalispell, Columbia Falls and Whitefish, but people are doing it anyway.

Commissioner Pam Holmquist voted in favor of a resolution to change county regulations, which passed on a 2-1 vote.

“We're just trying to help the VRBO individuals and the community have a voice in this,” says Holmquist.

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