MISSOULA - It's a project that's been in the works for two years and on Monday night, the lower Grant Creek development received approval for its rezoning, and new housing.
But there are still a lot of feelings about the matter.
“We’re very mindful of what’s happening fast, in front of us,” said Friends of Grant Creek Kevin Davis said.
Hundreds in the Grant Creek area are licking their wounds after Monday’s city council meeting with some saying their homes will never be quite the same.
“We’re all in this together. Even though that’s not our property, it’s private property that does impact the greater Grant Creek area,” Davis told MTN News.
The property has been rezoned and will hold 700 housing units thanks to a development agreement passed by the Missoula City Council.
“I feel like the infrastructure should’ve come first, then the development after that,” said Friends of Grant Creek member Erin Nuzzo.
In the more than two years that developer Ken Ault has been dreaming up this development, neighbors like Nuzzo and Davis have pushed back. It’s not the development they dislike, it’s the density.
“Increasing the number of units is going to, you know, it's going to impact the amount of traffic, we have no services up here we have no public transportation,” Nuzzo said. “We don't have the infrastructure to accommodate that many people, you know, without public transportation, it's going to be dominated by cars that pose a threat to Grant Creek, environmentally speaking."
But Missoula’s dire need for housing trumps all these concerns and in a super-majority vote, council members overrode a neighborhood petition to deny the development.
“I’m a housing advocate to the homeless advocate. I'm working in this corridor for several years now and keeping it clean keeping it safe for our neighbors,” Davis said. “But I haven't seen housing costs go down yet and I'm not convinced that build, build, build, will accomplish that."
Change will now be coming to the Grant Creek neighborhood following the rezoning decision. “Won’t have my sunset view,” Nuzzo stated.
But a commitment to the community is keeping the lifelong Missoulians in the area.
“I’m just trying to embrace it and accept it for what it is and embrace my new neighbors,” Nuzzo concluded.