Martin Kidston

(Missoula Current) The Missoula City Council unanimously approved a small subdivision and its annexation on Monday night, making it the first project to win approval this year.

Orchard Grove includes 24 residential lots in a combination of single-family and townhomes on roughly three acres. The project is located just west of Reserve Street near Larkin Wood Drive.

“All of the new infrastructure that’ll be adjacent to this subdivision will be paid for and installed by the subdivider,” said city planner Lauren Stevens. “All the new infrastructure will be the responsibility of the subdivider.”

The project won the recommendation of the Consolidated Planning Board late last year and was praised for its infill and provision of housing near existing city services.

As planned, Grove Street and Larkin Wood Drive will see improvements while a new ‘Woonerf’ street will feed a portion of the project. The street will favor cyclists in its design while also accommodating vehicles, according to the city.

“There are a few design elements that are really hallmarks of the Woonerf street type, and those are textured or scored pavement and a modulating street design that’s highlighted by alternative parking spaces,” project representative Joe Dehnert told the City Council this month. “The purpose of the roadway design is to create that living street type where all modes of travel are planned for simultaneous use.”

While several existing housing structures are planned for removal to accommodate redevelopment, Stevens said residents will be given first rights to purchase property within the project.

“One has already indicated their plans to purchase from a house that will be demolished to a unit in the third townhouse building,” said Stevens. “The applicants will provide ample transition time for households that have to move off site, and they have been informed of the project.”

The project was approved with 20 conditions including a prohibition on basements, installation of a connection to an existing path, and adequate fire protection, among others.

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Gallery Credit: Ashley

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