Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) The development team partnering with the City of Missoula on a Scott Street housing project received final approval for the requested rezone of the property to reach the density permitted in the area.

The rezone, granted by the City Council to Ravara Development LLC on Monday night, increases the building height to 65 feet, or roughly one story, to provide 224 dwelling units.

The number of dwelling units would be the same without the approved rezone. But with a shorter building height, the development would lose greenspace within its boundaries. The added height will enable them to maintain a central plaza planned with the project.

“It's pretty much a one-story difference,” city planner Tera Porgari told the city during the hearing process. “The added height will hopefully allow the development to get closer to the maximum density allowed in the zoning district while allowing a landscaped area by building up.”

Ravara plans to develop 9 of the 19-acres owned by the city off Scott Street. Three acres will provide 70 deed-restricted housing units on a community land trust in a blend of condos and townhomes. Such affordable housing was required as part of the agreement struck between Ravara and the city.

The remaining six acres will include market-rate housing, a plaza and a range of commercial amenities, including a food court, a potential gym and a neighborhood grocery.

The Missoula Redevelopment Agency is expected to ask the city to permit it to issue a $4 million bond to lay the infrastructure needed to support the development. At its January meeting, MRA officials said earthwork could begin this month.