Public hearing on 252-apartment complex set for March 21

City Commissioners are set to consider a right-of-way vacation, annexation and zoning during their March 21 meeting for a proposed 252-apartment complex on the east side.

The developer is requesting a right-of-way vacation for 50th Street North and 8th Avenue North and to aggregate the lots that abut those rights-of-way with the former 50th Street North and 8th Avenue North to form one lot.

The developer, Discovery Meadows Inc., is requesting to annex and zone 6.63 acres at 5123 7th St. N., at the northwest corner of 7th Avenue North and 52nd Street North.

City planning board OKs 252-unit apartment complex on east side

The developer is planning to build six 42-unit buildings for a total of 252 units.

In March 2008, City Commissioners approved the third phase of a subdivision known as the Cottage Grove Addition.

The subdivision was developed as a Planned Unit Development specifically to allow for smaller lot sizes, according to staff.

So far, only eight of the 27 lots have been developed and the owner of the undeveloped lots is proposing to rezone and aggregate the vacant lots and the abutting rights-of-way in the subdivision in order to allow the property to be used as part of a 252-unit apartment complex.

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The total land area to be considered for the project is approximately 8.88 acres.

In January, the city planning board voted to recommend approval of the annexation and zoning.

cottage meadow vicinity map

The project is likely to be built in phases beginning in the southeast corner of the subject property, according to the staff report. The development will also include the leftover lot from the amended plat of Cottage Grove Phase 3 Addition.

The apartments will be market rate, according to Spencer Woith, the developer.

City to review plans for 252-unit apartment complex on east side

Woith told the planning board that the site would be configured so that no through traffic from the apartments will route through the adjacent single-family neighborhood in the Cottage Grove area.

The site includes a fenced dog park area and a clubhouse for residents, Woith told the board.

The property is bordered by the city on three sides, with only the north side bordered by property outside the city limits. Single-family homes in Cottage Grove border on the west, single-family homes in Portage Meadows to the south, Siebel soccer fields to the east and to the north is Heritage Baptist Church.

City staff supports the annexation and assigning R-6 multi-family high density zoning.

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The zoning request “meets specific goals and objectives within the City of Great Falls growth policy, including encouraging a diverse, safe, and affordable supply of housing in the city. This project will substantially expand the supply of apartment residential opportunities and encourages a variety of housing types and densities so that residents can choose by price or rent, location and place of work,” according to the staff report.

If approved, the applicant will be required to extend a looped 8-inch main through the development and connect to the existing water mains. The developer will also be required to construct new sanitary sewer and any portion of the main outside the public right-of-way will include a 20-foot wide public utility easement.

discovery apartments rendering

The developer will also have to construct curbing sidewalk and boulevard landscaping along the west side of 52nd Street North and curbing along the east side of 52nd Street North. The applicant will provide a geotechnical report to support the design of the 52nd Street North roadway pavement section, and agrees to convert the existing gravel road to a paved facility meeting city standards, according to staff.

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The developer will also construct and/or reconstruct curbing, sidewalk and boulevard landscaping along the north side of 7th Avenue North as well as a crosswalk on the north end of the intersection of 52nd Street North and 7th Avenue North to create a pedestrian connection to the city’s soccer park.

Neighborhood Council 4 reviewed the proposal on Dec. 15 and voted 3-0 in favor of the project.

Since the city owns the property east of 52nd Street North, the city will pay half of the roadway improvements on the street.

Costs for improvements to the west portion of 52nd Street North, the subbase course of the north 8-12 feet of 7th Avenue North, the crosswalk across the intersection of 7th Avenue North and 52nd Street North to the soccer fields, and the improvements to the water and sanitary sewer mains will be incurred by the developer.