Car dealership gets green light for 93 United States Square in Whitefish
A new car dealership has been approved to operate at the old DePratu Ford VW dealership site on US 93 in Whitefish.
Whitefish city council last week approved a conditional use permit for Wolf Auto Group to use the commercial building and property for an auto sales and service business. The property was used as a car dealership for around 30 years before sitting empty in recent years.
The Wolf Auto group includes car dealerships in Jackson and Buffalo, Wyoming.
Brad Wolf said the company operates its dealers in resort towns, so Whitefish has a familiar feel.
“The building has remained vacant and has started to deteriorate, so we are going to fix it,” he said. “We care about property and people. We want to create a good product that will meet the needs of the community. “
Wolf said that while the current plan only includes the car dealership, the family could also consider adding residential buildings to the eastern part of the property and another business could be added on the southern outskirts.
As a condition of the permit, council elected to require landscaping along the eastern edge of the property to act as a buffer between the car dealership and the neighboring residential area.
At the Whitefish Planning Board public hearing, neighbors raised concerns about the creation of a buffer zone between the concessionaire and the residential area.
Council member Frank Sweeney suggested that the landscaping include boulevard trees, as these would also be needed if that part became residential. However, council left it to city staff to approve the details of the landscaping.
Phil Wolf pointed out that the property’s landscaping along US 93 already exceeds the necessary requirements for the property.
“This landscaping has become overgrown, but we are working to bring it back,” he said. “The landscaping on the east side of the property could potentially be destroyed if it is developed. “