City to consider annexation for 85-lot NWGF development on southern edge

A 20.5 acre property is being considered for annexation on the southern end of the city for a proposed NeighborWorks Great Falls development.

The project goes before the city’s Planning Advisory Board/Zoning Commission on Tuesday for consideration of annexation, establishment of a planned unit development zoning and preliminary plat of a major subdivision.

Currently dubbed the Medical Tech Park Addition, the property is undeveloped along 20th Street South and 24th Avenue South.

NWGF is proposing an 85-lot subdivision, fully developed with the establishment of roadways and alleys, sidewalks and city utilities. The proposed residential community includes 50 lots dedicated to the NWGF Mutual Self-Help Program.

If approved, the project will include 10 homes each year to be built by families participating in the self-help program.

NWGF has been using the program since 2005 and constructed 124 homes for low to moderate income families.

The last self-help community was included in the Thaniel Addition at the north end of the city and that project is still underway. Earlier this year NWGF sold eight lots in Thaniel in favor of developing the Med Tech community.

NWGF’s Thaniel Addition project shrinking slightly in favor of plans for new project south of city

The Med Tech project include 50 self-help lots, plus another 33 lots for one- and two-bedroom cottage style homes ranging from 800-1,200 square feet.

Med Tech Addition

The proposed Med Tech Addition. Image courtesy City of Great Falls planning department.

Cottage homes could be developed in four phases over the next five years, according to the staff report, and three model homes are planned to be built in the summer of 2019.

“As demand for new affordable housing continues to grow, these smaller homes are geared to active adults looking to downsize or young couples just starting out,” according to the city staff report.

So far, city staff has received no comments regarding the project.

The property is contiguous to the city limits on two sides and borders the 124-unit Rockcress Commons apartment complex that has already been approved.

City approves annexation for rights-of-way for Rockcress Commons apartment complex

Design Review Board considering plans for 124-unit apartment complex; retail center update and Town Pump remodels

124-unit Rockcress Commons set for Commission vote on annexation, zoning on Dec. 5

As part of the proposed annexation, the adjacent right-of-way of 24th Avenue South would also be annexed.

The project includes phased annexation as it did with the Thaniel Addition since the federal funding for the program requires that the homes be built in the county.

Staff is recommending approval of the annexation and zoning and the staff report does not include any mention of impact to public safety.

Connectivity, strain on public safety and storm water have been major concerns for the city in the request to annex property for the proposed Wheat Ridge Estates subdivision about 30 blocks to the east.

Wheat Ridge set for what will likely be a heated hearing on Sept. 18

Those issues don’t appear to be at play for the proposed Med Tech annexation since areas around the subject property are already served by city resources and public streets provide additional access.

The proposed Med Tech project requires NWGF to install storm water quality and quantity improvements that meet city standards. NWGF is proposing to build a detention pond and extend and construct new storm water pipe to move water from the development to the pond.

NWGF is proposing lot layouts that are generally alley-accessed for the mutual self-help homes with detached garages. The proposed layout for cottage style homes are street-accessed with attached garages. The proposed lot sizes range from 5,948-6,989 square feet.

If approved, NWGF will construct 20th and 22nd Streets South, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Avenues South, as well as three cul-de-sacs to provide access into the subdivision.

The city’s transportation planned analyzed the potential impact to traffic for the development and estimates about 790 daily trips for the full 83 homes in the subdivision.

According to the ITE Trip Generation Manual, an average of 9.52 trips for weekdays are typical for single family detached housing units. The existing and proposed roadway layout is expected to have sufficient capacity to accommodate traffic generated by the proposed subdivision, according to the city.

Staff has requested that 20th Street South be constructed as a collector street to accommodate expected future traffic volume and stop signs be installed at the avenues meeting 20th Street South and streets meeting 24th Avenue South. NWGF has agreed to the improvements, according to the staff report.

NWGF will also be required to install public utilities, including a looped and upsized public water main plus the addition of fire hydrants and all water service lines stubbed to all lots shown on the preliminary plat; extension of the public sanitary sewer main and installation of all sewer service lines stubbed to all lots as shown on the preliminary plat.