MISSOULA — The debate over a controversial condominium proposal that we have been following since October finally came to an end on Monday night.
The Missoula City Council voted to approve the rezoning of a property in the University District and also to vacate the right of way along South Fourth Street East.
After months of debate, the decision is final -- a 48-unit upscale condominium project will eventually replace the historic brick buildings that currently call Fourth Street home.
During the four-hour long meeting, a motion also passed to prohibit commercial usage of the property.
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- City council members who voted to approve the project say this new condominium aligns with Missoula's housing policy and is necessary for our growing population.
“We need more housing stock in Missoula. We need about 800 units every year, but we have to figure out how we’re going to do that, and this is a project that goes in that direction,” councilwoman Gwen Jones said.
“It creates affordability that is permanent, that is deed restricted, and is structural. It’s not at the whim of a landowner, of the market. It is permanent, structural affordability, and that’s a really big deal, added councilman Jordan Hess.
Despite the enthusiasm of the city council members, over a dozen community members expressed their concern at the meeting. Many fear the project will negatively affect the neighborhood's character, safety, and affordability.
We will continue to update you on the timeline of this project as it unfolds.