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350-lot subdivision west of Missoula receives extension for new housing starts

A map of the Running W Subdivision phasing plans.

Missoula County has approved a phasing extension for a 350-lot subdivision initially approved in 2005, with eight of the 11 phases of the development now extended to 2024.

But representatives of the Running W Subdivision said 14 lots in Phase 2 will be built this year and another 30 lots in Phase 3 will follow by the end of 2022.

That portion of the project includes multi-family housing and a new collector road to Highway 93.

“The request is to add two multi-family lots to Phase 3, which is one of the big infrastructure phases,” said county planner Tim Worley. “The multi-family lots are expected to come online much sooner than initially proposed.”

Running W Ranch is located north of the Wye and east of Highway 93. The project is taking place on 184 acres and meets the goals in the county’s growth policy, according to Worley.

The project was initially approved in 2005 under several dozen conditions that range from wildlife mitigation to two required traffic signals on Highway 93, including its intersection with Snapdragon Drive and Ladyslipper.

One of those signals is required before the final plat is filed for Phase III.

Ryan Salisbury with WGM Group said the area’s housing market is strong and several phases are expected sooner rather than later. The project is one of several unfolding west of Missoula.

“Depending on the home sales there, we’d move into Phase 4,” Salisbury said. “As far as the rest of the phases, it’s hard to know what the housing market will be.”