MISSOULA — The first phase of a new subdivision on Missoula’s growing west side received unanimous approval from the City Council on Monday, giving the developers the green light to begin construction.
Remington Flats received preliminary approval from the city last year, making Monday night’s vote regarding Phase One somewhat procedural.
“This is not an opportunity to open up new cans of worms and rehash issues decided in the subdivision process,” said council member Jordan Hess. “Two to three months have passed since we approved the subdivision, and nothing has materially changed.”
Remington Flats is planned in several phases on 20 acres north of Mullan Road near the existing 44 Ranch subdivision. The first phase will consist of 27 lots planned on roughly 5 acres. The entire project will include 152 lots once fully built.
While construction would begin on Phase One this spring, the entire development won’t be fully built until 2034. But other housing projects are in the works in the area, including Mcnett Flats – a new 20-acre subdivision just east of Remington Flats, which is expected to reach City Council next month.
“We’re in sort of an awkward adolescent phase in the Mullan BUILD, in which we have projects coming forth that were approved under a different set of regulations and will be going forward in the next weeks, months and years in various phases,” Hess said.
“In the extent we can steer things to meet the goals of the master plan, excellent. If we have something that comes in and meets our old regulations and isn’t quite what we want moving forward, it’s something we’ll have to address.”
The Mullan BUILD project refers to a larger master plan for the area, and it includes the city’s goal to extend the infrastructure needed to guide growth. Portions of that project are also expected to begin this spring, backed in part by a $13 million federal grant.
But several projects entered the subdivision process before the BUILD project was finalized, and they followed existing city codes at the time. Hess and others with an eye on land use and development will try to steer older projects toward the newer master plan as they’re up for city consideration.
“We need to have our eye on the future of what we’re trying to do under the goals of the master plan, and the goals of the Mullan BUILD grant,” Hess said. “But we can’t rehash what we’ve already decided on and what was submitted under what was legal at the time.”
To some extent, both Remington Flat and Mcnett Flats will meet up with the city’s larger infrastructure plans, including the extension of George Elmer Drive between Mullan and West Broadway, and the westward extension of England Boulevard.
The plans for Remington Flats include a future extension to both connector roads.