Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) An industrial and housing development planned on 160 acres south of the Wye is ready to file its final plat for Phase 1 and will likely do so in February.

The hearing was set for last week but was postponed after the county issued a request for proposals for an infrastructure plan proposed for the Wye.

“We had originally put this request in prior to the Wye infrastructure plan being issued,” said project representative Jamie Erbacher with the WGM Group. “Now that that's out, we want to take a step back to see if whatever system we do develop here for wastewater, if that could be tied into any future plans that may be developed at the Wye.”

The Riverside Industrial Major Subdivision, proposed by Riverside Contracting Inc., was approved in two phases at the corner of Deschamps and Moccasin lanes.

The county granted preliminary approval in August. The Consolidated Planning Board also recommended approval over the summer.

Missoula County zoning plan for the Wye.
Missoula County zoning plan for the Wye.

Phase 1 includes 25 lots while Phase 2 includes 11. The development will include a blend of light industrial and retail development, along with several hundred housing units. Zoning for the area calls for greater density, with housing at around eight units per acre.

Citing a lack of infrastructure, Missoula County in 2020 created a Targeted Economic Development District for much of the Wye. New projects, such as the industrial portion of the Riverside development, will pay to fund improvements within the district's boundaries including sewer, water and other vital infrastructure.

That would enable Riverside to build housing at the density called for in zoning.

“We need to look at the area as a whole. We already have an industrial area at the Wye. We have an ever-growing residential community out here as well, essentially establishing a bedroom community,” Erbacher said this summer. “While the old zoning somewhat hindered development at the Wye, the new zoning, in combination with the TEDD, will allow expansion of deficient infrastructure, job creation and the ability to build a denser community where folks already work.”

The county will consider a final plat for Phase 1 on February 23.