Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) Citing challenges in topography and limited access, the owner of a South Hills property is seeking a number of variances in order to create a 13-lot subdivision.

Represented by IMEG Corp., the owner looks to bring homes to the market and make use of the vacant 9-acre property. The High Park Views project is proposed off Landon's Way by Rebecca Donnelly.

“She's trying to bring inventory to the market. She knows the zoning allowed residential density and the growth policy supported it. It brings more residential development to our community, which we desperately need,” said Danny Oberweiser with IMEG.

As proposed, High Park Views would include a 2-acre common area and preserve an existing wetland. The city would also require residents to install bear-proof garbage containers if the project is approved.

While city regulations generally require two ways into and out of a development located in the wildland urban interface, it offers exceptions when topography is an issue. The project looks to extend Landon's Way into the property. It would be the only road serving the homes and would end in a culdesac large enough to accommodate emergency vehicles.

“In order to create a through street, the road would need to be built across slopes 25% or greater,” said senior city planner Laurent Stevens. “A through street would be significantly more expensive, and it would result in the removal of additional mature trees and possible disturbance of the riparian area.”

Members of the City Council's Land Use and Planning Committee have set a public hearing on the proposed project for later in June.