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192-lot O’Keefe Ranch set to begin phase 2 near the Wye

Missoula County Courthouse
Posted at 1:00 PM, May 16, 2023

MISSOULA - Missoula County has approved a number of items related to a subdivision planned for the Wye, including a change to one condition and modification of the phasing plan.

O'Keefe Ranch Estates includes 197 lots on 80 acres northwest of the I-90 interchange with Highway 12.

It was first approved in 2005 and was subject to 27 conditions, including the provision of three walkways to a park planned as part of the project.

But changes to the project's stormwater plan require greater drainage and will eliminate one of the three paths.

“We've seen this over the last couple years with the Wye area changing with groundwater and wells in this particular location,” said county planner Bailey Minnich. “There's been a lot of change since 2005.”

In lieu of the path, the developer will maintain the easement but provide landscaping instead of pavement. The county considered the change as minor.

“This request is minor in nature when compared to the entire subdivision and the remaining pedestrian improvements,” said Minnich. “There are sidewalks on all the streets so with the removal of that section of walkway, we're not losing any pedestrian use of the subdivision.”

The subdivision is one of several large residential projects planned for the Wye.

The county is working to create an infrastructure plan for the area, though it's well behind the development that's planned or already taking place.

Phase 1 of O'Keefe Ranch Estates has been filed and the developer is set to move on to Phase 2 and 3.

The county also approved a development agreement for the subdivision to ensure certain requirements are met.

Deputy County Attorney John Hart said several conditions approved in the agreement haven't been met, including some stormwater and sidewalk work.

The cost to complete the work is around $182,000 and the agreement ensures the work gets done.

“The developer has submitted a letter of credit with Mountain West Bank,” said Hart. “It's appropriate. The developer is agreeing to complete all the improvements on or before March 20, 2024.”