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Annexation updates as Bozeman grows

A recent article on the annexation of land to the NW of the new Bozeman high school for a brand new development and the possibility of Riverside Golf Course area – a 50 year old development – being annexed into the city. The new development may provide much needed build lots within city limits.

Bozeman annexes 160 acres for project near new high school
By Katheryn Houghton Chronicle Staff Writer Jan 29, 2019

Bozeman leaders agreed to absorb 160 acres into city limits this week, which makes it possible for new housing and storefronts to set up next to the city’s new high school and sports park.

Bozeman commissioners approved the developer-requested annexation during their Monday meeting. The land at the northwest corner of Oak Street and Cottonwood Road has the Bozeman Sports Park to the east and the new high school to the southeast.

Mayor Cyndy Andrus said Tuesday the request is larger than the typical annexation that comes before the commission.

“It makes a lot of sense for the area considering the high school, the sports park and what’s needed in the community,” she said.

Commissioners approved zoning the land for residential emphasis with mixed-use, which is what applicant Bryan Klein requested. Roughly 130 acres of the property will be residential with 30 acres for businesses.

Andrus said that decision means there can be a variety of homes combined with neighborhood shops within walking distance for people who move there.

The property is surrounded by city limits on two of four sides, and Klein intends to connect to and extend city services, according to city records.

Monday’s first commission items revolved around two kinds of stories often connected to Bozeman’s growing edges. First, widening city limits due to developer interest, and second, people considering joining Bozeman out of necessity.

On Monday, commissioners also settled on what it would take for Riverside Country Club and more than 120 homes in the county to connect to city services. That’s years after city negotiations began with the people in the district who have been hesitant to become Bozeman residents.

The Riverside Manor development was subdivided roughly 50 years ago with its own water and sewer district. The development was roughly three miles outside of Bozeman limits.

In 2011, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality said the community’s wastewater infrastructure had violations. The people in the district landed on two main options: either build a new wastewater treatment plant for the district or connect to the city’s Water Reclamation Facility.

Since then, district representatives and city officials have gone back and forth on whether the land would become part of Bozeman.

In 2014, Bozeman commissioners considered an agreement with the district that would have allowed city connection with an annexation deferral. Initially, the district requested a 10-year deferral. Landing on a shorter timeline, the commission approved the agreement with a maximum 18-month deferral.

At least 50 percent of the property owners in an area have to petition to for annexation into Bozeman. That never happened in this case.

“The main hurdle appears to be some residents’ concern with annexation into the city and how being Bozeman residents will impact their neighborhood,” according to city records.

Since that 2014 vote, conversations continued between the city and district.

“These negotiations have gone on for a long time and this was our offer,” Andrus said. “It seems to be that both Riverside and the city have come to a place where there’s agreement. We hope that that’s true when they go out and get the petition.”

If annexed, the property owners would eventually pay city taxes and things like city street and tree assessment fees.

The deal commissioners agreed to Monday wouldn’t require property owners to upgrade streets and sidewalks within the district to city standards, though Andrus said future city commissions may require property owners to do so.

City Manager Andrea Surratt said if the property owners choose to join Bozeman, the money it would take to improve the area would come through a special improvement district.

Source: Bozeman annexes 160 acres for project near new high school