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All dogs must be vaccinated against rabies to qualify for a license. You will need to provide proof of rabies vaccine when purchasing a license and renewal of vaccine.
No. The license you purchase through the Flathead County Animal Shelter is a lifetime license.
A lifetime license is $45.
Yes. Dogs and all other animals are not permitted to run at large. When not on the owner’s premises, dogs must be kept on leashes. Loose dogs may be impounded.
If your dog is impounded, it will be taken to the County Animal Control Shelter located south of Kalispell. The dog will be held up to 96 hours. If it has a tag, shelter personnel will notify the owner within one business day that the dog is impounded and how it can be redeemed. Contact the County Animal Control Shelter at 406-752-1310.
Loud or frequent barking is considered disturbing the peace, and the owner is subject to substantial penalties under the ordinance.
Yes. Any person who owns or is in control of a dog or other domestic animal that deposits feces in any City park, City boulevard, or other City-owned property, or in any other publicly-owned property, or in any privately-owned property, and who fails to promptly dispose of such feces in a trash receptacle, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor unless the owner of such property consents thereto.
If the dog has a current Flathead County license, you can call the County Animal Control Shelter at 406-752-1310, for the owner’s information. If the dog does not have a current license and no identification please call the Police Department.
Currently, the City Cemetery is sold out. Until a new location is found, the City Clerk’s Office has a waiting list. Some lots are sold back to the City and some lots are sold by the owner. If you purchase a lot from the owner please contact the City Clerk’s Office to update the records.
The City now has cremain remains vaults available in a standing monument called a Columbarium (PDF). The current prices for Columbarium vaults are contained in the Resolution (PDF) creating the fees for the Columbarium.
A memory wall is available for those loved ones that are not interred in the cemetery. The Resolution (PDF) was passed in December 2015 creating the fees for reserving a space on the wall. A prepayment is paid with the City Clerk’s office to have Glacier Memorial Gardens engrave the nameplate.
The price of a cemetery lot depends on whether the purchaser lives inside or outside City limits.
For Columbarium pricing, see the Resolution (PDF) creating the fees for Columbarium vaults. The opening and closing of the vault is contained in the initial price of the vault and there is no additional charge for the opening and closing of the vault.
Most funeral homes will include the opening and closing costs at the time of the funeral. The City of Whitefish does allow family internments for ashes at no extra cost with the condition of notifying the City Clerk’s Office of the date, time, and person of internment. The City of Whitefish crew will open and close the location of internment.
These local monument companies will place the monument and/or headstones and will know the rules and regulations of the Whitefish Cemetery:
You can search your loved one by name and find the location on the cemetery directory (PDF). The cemetery map (PDF) will help you find the location.
Balancing the water use with recent hotter, drier summers is a critical challenge for Whitefish’s population today and for the future. Reducing the amount of water that is wasted is part of the City’s Climate Action Plan and an effective way to balance water demands with limited available water resources.
Currently, Whitefish’s water supply infrastructure is at a maximum capacity, and the summer water use is extremely high relative to the base/winter use. This puts severe stress on the City’s infrastructure and operations. Conservation practices and wasting less water will reduce the peak summer demand and costs of supplying water, as well as the life of the City’s water infrastructure. Using less water also reduces our impact on the environment and preserves resources for future generations who live, work and play in Whitefish.
Until further notice, Whitefish will remain in the General Conservation stage. Changes in stages will be triggered by excessive use, drought conditions and/or major infrastructure failures. Residents will be notified of changes in conservation stages by issuance of a proclamation by the Public Works Director through public service announcements, website and social media.
Positive shut-off nozzles are placed on the end of garden hoses and other water delivery systems to stop any waste of water prior to the user’s need. This piece of equipment will help you waste less water (and money).
Under all stages, watering of vegetable gardens during allocated times and dates are allowed. Where possible, utilize soaker hoses, timed watering systems, and mulch soils to retain moisture. Look for ways to waste less water and only water areas that require moisture.
Wasting less water is critical for the sustainability of Whitefish’s water infrastructure. It is also key to maintaining the City’s commitment to the approved Climate Action Plan. Key priorities of this plan include conserving water, protecting the City’s watersheds, and diversifying the City’s water supply resources. In order to meet these goals, the General Conservation stage will remain part of routine operation for the city.
Looking for ways to waste less water should be a standard operating procedure, but under General Conservation stage, you may operate as normal. If the City enters Stage I or Stage II restrictions and your business requires water for daily operation, contact the City of Whitefish to obtain a Commercial Outdoor Water Use Permit.
Stage I restrictions will revert to General Conservation restrictions if there are 10 consecutive days of water demand less than or equal to 3 million gallons per day (MGD) at the Water Treatment Plant.
Stage II restrictions step down to Stage I restrictions when critical infrastructure is repaired, or the U.S. Drought Monitor Index condition changes to severe or less for the identified area.
Drought conditions are monitored by reviewing the reports from the U.S. Drought Monitor. For more information or to review reports, visit the U.S. Drought Monitor website.
The timing of watering is important. Cooler temperatures in the evening results in the best time to soak or drip irrigate; this gives the soil all night to absorb the water. Early morning is the best time for sprinklers because grass leaves can absorb water and not be wet and cold all night.
For more yard and garden tips review the Montana State University Extension Yard and Garden Water Management (PDF) document.
For more information view some Irrigation Runoff Prevention (PDF) tips.
The City of Whitefish has given Amtrak spaces North of the Library for Amtrak customers. Please contact Amtrak for the availability of those spaces.
Yes. Whitefish has a Parking Enforcement Officer that will issue a $20 Citation for overtime parking.
The Finance Department, Customer Service Clerk can collect overtime payments. You can also mail your payment to the Whitefish Municipal Court.
Yes. If you have been transported by the Whitefish Ambulance, and you have insurance, please contact the Ambulance billing service with your insurance information.
Yes. Full payment is required or arrangements must be made within 90 days of the original invoice. In the case where arrangements need to be made, an amount must be paid that is equal or greater than the minimum payment allowed. The minimum payment required is a monthly payment of $35 unless other arrangements have been made with the ambulance billing service.
Whitefish Ambulance services accepts Visa/Mastercard, checks, and cash. Please call Systems Design West at 800-238-9398.
Yes. Residents inside our Rural Fire District are eligible for the RescueCare Program.
All the Department’s firefighters are crossed trained to provide emergency medical care, this combined response provides the additional personnel necessary to assist with a medical event. In addition, this response provides a measure of safety for the responders, as well as the patient.
If you have insurance, our billing company will bill your insurance, once the insurance pays and if there is a balance, the RescueCare program will pay the balance. In the case the patient does not have insurance, the RescueCare Program will pay the full balance of the Ambulance Bill.
A member’s RescueCare coverage extends to all household members who are permanent residents of the same single-family (non-commercial) dwelling, within the City’s ambulance service area, living together as a family unit but excluding mere roomers or boarders. Membership benefits also extend to include household members living in nursing homes or other substitute care facilities in the City’s ambulance service areas. Those not included in the household membership are required to obtain their own membership. RescueCare coverage does not entitle a member to be picked up or transported outside of the City’s ambulance service area.
The RescueCare runs July through June. You can purchase the RescueCare anytime during the year for the full amount, with the membership expiring June 30th. Whitefish Ambulance will send a renewal notice in June for the following year.
Yes. It will start when the Ambulance Billing Clerk receives the payment.
All memberships expire on June 30th. Memberships do not expire 1 year from the date of payment.
For just $59 within city limits or $185 per year for residents living outside of city limits but still within the Whitefish ambulance service area, the RescueCare program will cover your entire household against the costs for emergency and medically necessary ambulance service in and around Whitefish.
It is as simple as completing the RescueCare application and mailing back to the address listed on the application. Please view the RescueCare application (PDF) or call the Whitefish Fire Department at 406-863-2483 to have one sent to you.
Once you have determined the zoning for the property, visit the Sterling Codifier’s website to view the City of Whitefish Zoning Regulations under Title 11 .
When you are viewing the zoning regulations, you should expand Chapter 2 Zoning Districts and select the specific zoning district you are looking for. This will list all permitted uses, conditional uses, and property development standards (including setbacks, building heights, and lot coverage) specific to each zone.
We do not have a PDF of the current City Code on our website. The Sterling Codifiers is updated for every text amendment and is the most current.
In order to look up the zoning for your property, go to the City zoning map. You can search by address or zoom directly to your property to see what the zoning district is for your property or neighborhood. For a summary of the permitted uses and development standards for that zoning district, go to Sterling Codifier’s website to view the City of Whitefish Zoning Regulations Title 11, Chapter 2.
If the proposed structure will be greater than 200 square feet in size, it will require the issuance of a building permit. This includes both residential and commercial structures, as well as accessory structures such as sheds, decks, porches, etc.
Please contact the City of Whitefish Building Department at 406-863-2410 for questions regarding the issuance of building permits. Additionally, all structures regardless of size, must comply with the setbacks established in the City of Whitefish Zoning Regulations.
Within each zoning district there is a list of permitted uses (which can be commenced on a property without additional zoning review) and a separate list of conditional uses. Conditional uses require additional review through a Conditional Use Permit prior to commencement as the uses may be more impactful on the surrounding neighborhood, traffic and roadways, or include additional performance standards.
Conditional Use Permits are first reviewed by the City Planning Board for a recommendation for final review from the City Council, and run with the land not the property ownership. The time frame from application submittal to final decision on a Conditional Use Permit application is approximately 3 months.
To learn more about submitting Conditional Use Permit applications or to obtain a copy of the form, visit the Applications, Forms and Fee Schedule page.
A Zoning Variance is a request for a deviation from the requirements of the zoning regulations. For example, a deviation from the required setbacks or building height in a particular zone. Zoning Variance applications are reviewed by the City Board of Adjustment, and there are specific criteria which must be met in order for a variance to be approved.
The criteria for review can be found in Section 11-7-7 of the City of Whitefish Zoning Regulations. In order for a variance request to be approved, all of the criteria must be met or found to be not applicable.
The time frame from application submittal to final decision is approximately 2 months. To learn more about Zoning Variance or to obtain a copy of the Zoning Variance Permit application form, visit the Applications, Forms and Fee Schedule page.
In order to sell a portion of a property, the property must first go through subdivision review and receive both Preliminary Plat and Final Plat approvals before the new lot can be sold. Depending on a variety of factors, the division may require review as a minor waiver, a minor, or a major subdivision Preliminary Plat. Each has a different time frame for the application and review period, with the longest (major subdivisions) taking approximately 3 months before a final decision is made by the City Council.
Once a subdivision has received Preliminary Plat, the new lot or lots are not officially created until the applicant completes Final Plat. This is a separate application process where the applicant must demonstrate they have met all conditions approved during the Preliminary Plat process. The Final Plat review takes approximately 1 to 2 months with a final decision made by the City Council. Once the Council approves the Final Plat, the lots will be created and can then be sold by applicant.
There are a few instances when subdivision review is not required for the creation of a lot under Montana State Law. These instances are know as Subdivision Exemptions and include Boundary Line Adjustments, Family Transfers, and Agricultural Exemptions.
If you are interested in dividing your land, you are encouraged to contact the Planning Department at 406-863-2410 to discuss the overall process and submittal requirements.
For more information on subdivisions or to review the applications, visit the Applications, Forms and Fee Schedule page.
The Architectural Review Committee reviews and acts on applications for commercial, industrial or public buildings, or duplex/townhouse or greater residential structures within the City of Whitefish. Detached single-family homes are exempt from the Architectural Review Standards.
For additional information or to download the application specific to your project visit the Architectural Review Committee page under the Boards and Committees.
First, if the subject property has not been annexed into the City of Whitefish, the property owner or applicant must contact the Flathead County Planning and Zoning Office at 406-751-8200 in order to obtain a lakeshore permit.
If the subject property is located within the City of Whitefish city limits:
The completed application, required fee, and additional application submittals must be turned into the City of Whitefish Planning Department. For additional information, visit the Lakeshore Development page which includes a link to the City of Whitefish Lakeshore Regulations, or contact the Planning Department.
Business License applications are submitted to the Whitefish City Clerk’s office. For information regarding the applicable application and required fee, visit the Business License page or contact the City Clerk’s office at 406-863-2400.
Short-term Rental Brochure, sometimes referred to as a vacation rental, rental of an entire privately owned house, townhouse unit, condominium unit, apartment or other residence, or any space within a dwelling unit rented independently, for stays of less than 30 days. Short-term rentals are only permitted in certain areas of town (map). Properties eligible for short-term rentals are required to obtain a Short-term Rental and Business License Combined Application. If you have any questions, please call our office at 406-863-2410.
The Legacy Homes Program, also known as inclusionary zoning, was a recommendation from the 2017 Strategic Housing Plan (PDF). This program is intended to provide new housing in Whitefish affordable to people with moderate incomes who work in Whitefish. The program includes both rental and home ownership opportunities; homes will be located throughout the community.
A 2016 Housing Needs Assessment (PDF) identified 980 new housing units are needed in Whitefish by 2020; 605 of those (or 62%) need to be priced below market rate to:
The Whitefish Housing Authority (WHA) will guide prospective renters and owners through the application process and determine eligibility for a Legacy Home. Visit the WHA website, call 406-862-4143, or email the WHA to learn more about the application process and to get qualified to rent or buy a Legacy Home.
For more information on affordable housing initiatives in Whitefish visit the Whitefish Strategic Housing Steering Committee page.
View the Legacy Homes Program Administration (PDF), stop by City Hall, or call 406-863-2410 to talk with a Planner. The Whitefish Planning Department is coordinating administration of the Legacy Homes Program with the Whitefish Housing Authority.
The Whitefish Police Department is located in the Whitefish Emergency Services Center (ESC) at 275 Flathead Avenue. Flathead Avenue is to the west of Baker Avenue. We are located at the top of the hill (behind Safeway and the Wave Fitness Center). Also located in the ESC is the Whitefish Fire Department and the Whitefish Municipal Court.
The lobby of the Whitefish Police Department is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm If you are at the police department after hours, you may use the lobby phone to contact the Flathead Dispatch Center. The lobby phone is located on the wall to your left (as you are coming in) between the two sets of glass doors (the inner doors are locked after hours).
Once you have received a citation, you must contact the Whitefish Municipal Court to have it resolved by either paying a fine or appearing before the judge. The Whitefish Police Department cannot take payments or dismiss/void a citation after it has been issued. The Whitefish Municipal Court can be reached at 406-863-2440. View the Whitefish Municipal Court page for more information about the court including their hours of operation and open court times.
You may come into the Police Department during our regular business hours to get a copy of a Motor Vehicle Accident Report. There is a $10 fee for this report.
Please contact the Whitefish Deputy City Attorney, Mary Barry, at 406-863-2446 to request a case report. Whitefish Police Department does not release case reports without the authorization of the prosecutor. There are fees involved for these reports depending on the volume of information and the time required to retrieve and prepare it.
Where you live will determine which department will take your report. You may have a Whitefish mailing address but be outside of the city limits and in Flathead County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. The best way to file a report is to contact the Flathead 911 Emergency Communications Center (dispatch) at 406-863-2420, option Number 2. This center works with all of the law enforcement agencies in the Flathead Valley and can quickly direct your information to the appropriate officer on duty. You may also come in to the Whitefish Police Department lobby during business hours and fill out a Voluntary Statement form (PDF) to begin the process
First, if a crime has been committed in the City of Whitefish, contact the Police Department at 406-863-2420 to file a police report. You must appear before a judge to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and articulate a reason the order is needed. If the incident that initiates the need for a TRO occurred in Whitefish, or if you are a resident of the City of Whitefish, please contact the Whitefish Municipal Court at 406-863-2440 for additional information. If you reside outside the City of Whitefish, or the incident initiating the need for a TRO occurred outside of the Whitefish City Limits, please contact the Flathead Justice Court at 406-758-5643 for more information.
Contact the Montana Department of Justice Criminal Records Unit to obtain criminal records:
For more information, please visit the Montana Department of Justice Criminal Records website.
Whitefish Police Department offers fingerprinting services by appointment only. You must provide a photo ID and pay a $25 fee at the time of fingerprinting. Fingerprint cards must be filled out completely before your prints are taken. If fingerprint cards were provided to you, please fill them out to the best of your ability before coming in for prints. Whitefish Police Department utilizes Livescan and will do ink prints if needed.
The City of Whitefish has a Trash Container Ordinance (City Code 4-2-4A) that restricts the time containers can be out on the street. In short, containers may not be placed out prior to 4 am on the day of collection and must be retrieved by 7 pm the same day. The ordinance is in place to discourage bears from coming into our neighborhoods and searching for food.
You may come by the Whitefish Police Department with the MVD form and the vehicle or trailer that needs to be inspected. View the MVD form (PDF) is available. There may be a short wait depending on officer availability. You may also contact the Flathead 911 Emergency Communications Center (dispatch) at 406-863-2420, option Number 2 to set up a time to meet an officer.
Simple. During the months of October through April, between the hours of 5 am and 5 pm, do the following:
The new ordinance was developed to manage the challenges that are created by parked vehicles. The ordinance will primarily help with snow removal, by allowing plows to clear snow all the way to the curb line, however the new ordinance will also assist with the other roadway maintenance activities such as leaf pickup and street sweeping.
No. Streets with existing parking regulations do not fall under the alternate side regulations. Examples of this would be:
Yes. In order to allow residents time to adjust to the new regulation we thought it would be beneficial to implement alternate side parking in October. The fall implementation will also promote more effective leaf collection and street sweeping operations.
Our hope is that people will be accustomed to the new parking ordinance once it begins to snow, which will make for efficient and effective snow removal operations this winter with very few citations.
Alternate side parking begins at 5 am every morning of the snow season, regardless of whether it snows or not. Therefore, you should plan to park or move your vehicle after 5 pm each day to the side of the road that will be permissible to park the following day.
Think of it this way: if it is 5 pm on November 11th, and you’re parked on the odd side of the street, you have 12 hours to move your vehicle. If that does not make sense, please refer to the first Alternate Parking Ordinance question.
Vehicles will only be towed after multiple citations or after a significant snowfall.
If you believe that your vehicle was towed, you can call the Police Department at 406-863-2420, ext. 2.