Lakeshore/Floodplain Development

For information regarding the 2014 Floodplain Map Updates, click here.

Lakeshore Development

Property ownership along Whitefish Lake and Lost Coon Lake carries with it the responsibility to protect the lake from degradation.  In an effort to help ensure that the qualities that you enjoy most about Whitefish Lake and Lost Coon Lake are maintained, the City of Whitefish began implementing a lakeshore construction permit program in the 1980s.

Regulations

The Whitefish Lake and Lakeshore Protection Regulations govern work within the Lakeshore Protection Zone.  The purpose of these regulations is to protect the fragile, pristine character of Whitefish Lake and Lost Coon Lake.

Title 13 - Whitefish Lake and Lakeshore Protection Regulations

Requirements

Anyone proposing work in Whitefish Lake or Lost Coon Lake, or on the land within twenty (20) horizontal feet of the mean annual high water elevation, must have a Lakeshore Construction Permit prior to beginning work.  The property owner is responsible for assuring that a permit has been obtained.

The following are examples of work for which a permit is required:

  • Installing a dock, shore station, boat rail system, boat ramps or buoy
  • Any clearing or removal of native vegetation over 3’’ in diameter
  • Landscaping
  • Excavating
  • Filling, including the addition of gravel to a beach
  • Placing or replacing riprap
  • Constructing retaining walls
  • Constructing a patio, deck, stairway, or balcony
  • Reconstructing or replacing any existing facilities
  • Installing water lines, sewer lines, or other utility lines or facilities
  • Stockpiling or burning of brush, construction materials, or debris
  • Operation of any equipment in the lakeshore protection zone except for winter removal of a dock
  • Any other work, not herein mentioned, that may have an impact on the lake, lakebed, or lakeshore.

Work commencing without a permit is a violation of the Lakeshore Protection Regulations and is turned over to the City Attorney for prosecution.

If you are unsure whether a permit is required for the work you propose, contact Bailey Minnich with the City of Whitefish Planning Department at 863-2412.

Applications

Lakeshore Construction Permit (rev. 7-27-17)
Lakeshore Variance

Other Links

Whitefish Lakeshore Protection Committee

Floodplain Development

In compliance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIP), and the State of Montana, the City of Whitefish adopted regulations in 2007 governing work occuring within areas mapped as 100-year floodplain on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).

Regulations

The intent of the Whitefish Floodplain Ordinance is to promote public health, safety and general welfare, and to minimize public and private losses due to flood conditions in specific areas.

Title 14 - Whitefish Flood Control Ordinance

Requirements

Anyone proposing work within the boundary of the 100-year floodplain identified on one of the adopted FIRM panels must have an approved Floodplain Development Permit prior to beginning work.  The property owner is responsible for assuring that a permit has been obtained.

The following are examples of work for which a permit is required:

  • Excavation
  • Road, highway, street, or stream crossings
  • Fill placement
  • Buried or suspended utility transmission lines
  • Storage of materials and equipment
  • Irrigation, livestock and/or domestic water supply wells
  • Fences crossing stream channels
  • Public or private recreational uses
  • Boat docks, marinas, picnic shelters
  • Bank Stabilization projects
  • Agricultural structures
  • Residential Structures
  • Commercial Structures
  • Manufactured Homes
  • Any other work, not herein mentioned, that may have an impact on the floodplain.

Work commencing without a permit is a violation of the Whitefish Floodplain Regulations and is turned over to the City Attorney for prosecution.

If you are unsure whether a permit is required for the work you propose, contact Bailey Minnich with the City of Whitefish Planning Department at 863-2412.

Application

Floodplain Development Permit

2014 Flooplain Mapping Update

The City of Whitefish and the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) are working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop preliminary results of updated floodplain mapping.

The preliminary maps and study are available for public review and comment at this time.  The project was initiated in 2011 to update existing mapped floodplains in Flathead County with more accurate information.  Montana DNRC managed the project with FEMA providing grant funding and project oversight.  The maps and study undergo public review prior to being finalized.

New detailed floodplain studies were conducted on portions of the following streams - Swan River at Bigfork, Cow Creek, Whitefish River at Whitefish, Ashley Creek, West Spring Creek & tributaries, and Whitefish River at Kalispell.  The detailed floodplain studies were conducted to replace the existing mapped floodplains in those locations, which were mapped using approximate methods, and called Zone A floodplains.  Detailed floodplain studies involved survey work, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses and mapping.  Some of the other existing Zone A floodplains in the county were refined based on updated, more accurate topographic information.

The proposed changes for the detailed study areas and the Zone A refinement areas can be viewed at:

FEMA interactive mapping site: http://bit.ly/1bjCD8v

-or-

City of Whitefish Preliminary Panels 1070J, 1090J, 1095J, 1115J, 1405J

FEMA website with all affected preliminary floodplain maps (by panel number):

http://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/

FEMA letter regarding update process, April 22, 2014

FEMA Preliminary Summary of Map Actions (SOMA)

For more information contact:

Bailey Minnich, City of Whitefish Planning Department, 863-2412 e-mail

or

Tiffany Lyden, DNRC Helena, 406-444-0599 e-mail