by ERIN SCHATTAUER, Chronicle Staff Writer – January 23, 2014
A proposed housing project near Montana State University is drawing criticism from neighbors who don’t want it built near their homes.
The development includes a request to rezone about 15 acres of land south of Opportunity Way and east of South 11th Avenue for high-density residential use.
Preliminary plans filed with the city call for the construction of a multi-unit development that includes 12 buildings with two- and three-bedroom apartments and a clubhouse, pool, volleyball court, basketball courts and parking areas. The project applicant is Campus Crest, a North Carolina-based developer that builds student-housing communities across the country.
The land at the center of the proposal is northwest of Morning Star Elementary School. On Thursday afternoon, neighbors who were outside their homes, shoveling sidewalks and working on bikes, were well aware of the proposal.
Since learning about it, residents in the Figgins and Alder Creek neighborhoods have banded together to oppose the zoning change.
“There’s a pretty strong group effort,” resident Rick Meis said.
Meis estimated about 80 to 100 people attended a recent neighborhood meeting about the project. About 125 households are on an email list to share information. A Facebook group has also been set up to swap information and keep residents informed.
People opposed to the project plan to send written comments to the city and are gearing up for a Feb. 4 public hearing before the zoning board.
“We’re definitely getting a lot of feedback on it,” City Manager Chris Kukulski said.
The zoning amendment request will go to the zoning board, which will then make a recommendation to the City Commission on the matter. The City Commission will make the final decision on whether or not to rezone the land.
The Bozeman Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on the zoning request at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in the City Commission Room at City Hall. A public hearing before the City Commission is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, at City Hall.