Council moves forward on two housing plans

An affordable housing project and a large-scale subdivision development both got verbal support and official approval to move a few steps farther along from the Missoula City Council last week, despite some opposition from neighbors.

First, the Skyview housing project, a 36-unit affordable housing project for those 55 and older, won the votes necessary for rezoning from the council’s Land Use and Planning Committee. The motion passed with only council member Michelle Cares voting against it.

Neighbors had expressed concerns about a lack of sidewalks in the area and too much traffic, but several City Council members said the project fulfills the city’s growth plan by adding much-needed low-income housing and density in an area already served by infrastructure.

Council member Heidi West teared up a little as she spoke in support of the project. West attended several hearings in Helena over the past two years as the developer, Alex Burkhalter, was denied and then ultimately won federal housing tax credits for the project.

“I think people need to be aware of how arduous the process is, how anxiety-filled it is, how people who are developing affordable housing in our community go back year after

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