The Missoula Open Space Advisory Committee voted unanimously to move forward to a more extensive review of an application to use $390,000 in open space bond funding to protect eight acres of farmland in Missoula from development forever.
Last week, the board heard a presentation from Trust Montana, a statewide nonprofit, and local landowner Neva Hassanein. Their project, called Corner Farm Village, is located at the intersection of Tower Road and Third Street in Missoula’s Orchard Homes neighborhood.
Hassanein is the sole owner of 10 acres of land where a farm called Clark Fork Organics operates.
Clark Fork Organics was owned until this past summer by Missoula County Commissioner Josh Slotnick and his wife, Kim Murchison, but the couple have stepped away from that farm, no longer own the land and are not financial partners in Corner Farm Village.
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Essentially, Hassanein is proposing to sell eight acres to Trust Montana so that it will be permanently protected from development using a Community Land Trust model. The land would be leased to a local farmer, Ellie Costello, for food production. Hassanein would use the proceeds of