Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) The City Council on Monday night approved a large subdivision and its eventual annexation, marking the latest project slated for city's growing western edge.

Cathcart Properties Inc. plans to develop 19 acres of a historic ranch property with a total of 300 residential units in a range of building types, including duplexes and apartments. The ranch house will be preserved and likely added to the National Historic Register.

With its approval, Sapphire Place – located off Flynn Lane – joins West End Homes as the latest major subdivision planned within the Sxwtpqyen Neighborhood Master Plan.

The plan envisions a number of mixed uses, such as coffee shops and daycares, among other commercial offerings. Some have lamented the lack of commercial space included in the two projects.

However, Sapphire Place will offer a private clubhouse for use by residents of the development.

“The whole project is proposed to be run by a management company. It's all for-rent units,” city planner Dave DeGrandpre told council members last week. “The clubhouse is essentially an amenity. It would be private and run by a management company.”

Annexation of Sapphire Place will occur upon the issuance of the first permit.

Last year, the City Council granted preliminary approval of West End Homes, a project that covers around 70 acres and will cluster 260 lots while retaining some open space.

City Council will be asked to consider a third project later this year in Icon Apartments. Approval of all three projects would provide nearly 1,000 new housing units in a range of building types within the Sxwtpqyen planning area.