Stairway trail and road width dominate Hillview Crossing discussion

Widening Hillview Crossing’s proposed streets by seven feet and the location of trails through the development — including a possible 216-foot-staircase — took top billing Wednesday during Missoula’s Land Use and Planning committee meeting.

This was the seventh time the proposed 68-unit Townhome Exemption Development (TED) came before city council members, who are trying to balance the project developers’ needs with the impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods. So far, the office of Developmental Services has recommended approval of the project with 23 conditions.

On Wednesday, the council discussed amending the conditional use approval regarding the streets and trails.

One concern is that the development’s relatively steep roads won’t be constructed to city standards, with narrower street widths that allow parking only on one side on the two dead-end cul-de-sacs. Since city engineers said they won’t accept them, the streets will remain private property, which means the homeowners association will have to plow and enforce parking restrictions.

Council members are worried that the narrow streets could get congested in an emergency, with people unable to exit the subdivision or blocking fire trucks or ambulances from entering. In addition, they wondered how parking and

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