I am a resident of lower Grant Creek and own a condo in the Cottonwood Condo complex. I understand the need for housing in Missoula, especially affordable housing and housing available to purchase for Missoulians who can no longer afford a home due to the high cost of available housing in the city.
That said, Ken Ault’s most recent rezoning proposal for his market-rate rentals in Grant Creek does not address the affordable housing situation, nor does it provide an opportunity for home ownership.
This rezone will nearly double the current population of Grant Creek and with only one way out, I worry about fire evacuation for the current residents up the creek. Also, the increase in traffic congestion with no public transportation option will increase accidents on Grant Creek Road and pollute Grant Creek as folks sit at the light idling their vehicles.
This is especially an issue during ski and tourist season and with the new Bluebird Trail, there will be even more traffic congestion.
I know that the local neighborhood organization, Friends of Grant Creek has tried to negotiate with Ken Ault in a variety of ways to ensure this development is in line with the current look and feel of the neighborhood.
I live right next door to this development and I’m worried about Mr. Ault’s intent to build 4-story buildings instead of the 3-story buildings that have already been built. The Friends of Grant Creek suggested he build his 4-story complex against the hill on the opposite side of the Cottonwoods so they don’t tower over our condos and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation but for whatever reason, he has refused.
Maybe there’s a logistical reason for this but he hasn’t shared this with his neighbors. In my opinion, Mr. Ault doesn’t care about being a good neighbor to those of us residents who are already living here.
That’s his prerogative of course since he owns the land, but it’s frustrating he doesn’t take his neighbors’ concerns into account and refuses to work with us so that we can all be happy and openly embrace our new neighbors.