Missoula County commissioners deny controversial zoning change in East Missoula

Jordan Hansen

Missoula County’s Board of County Commissioners has denied a request by a developer to change the zoning of a parcel of land near the Ole’s in East Missoula for an apartment project.

Castle Rock Construction wanted to build 59 units on the 1.65 acre plot. The decision by the board means the developers, who were represented by IMEG, will only be able to build 44 units.

Representatives for the developers said prior to the vote that they would likely still build units at the site if the zoning change was denied.

A robust discussion lasting more than two hours — involving the commissioners, developer representatives, county staff and local residents — preceded the vote, which was unanimous.

The project received significant pushback from East Missoulians, who have been organized by several local community groups including the East Missoula Community Council.

A public hearing on the topic was originally opened on Dec. 12. The hearing was cut short when commissioner Josh Slotnick had to leave that meeting early and the developers allowed an extension to the county to complete their decision-making process.

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