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Residents of Billings worried about potential construction on West End



Billings, Montana – A new development west of 70th Street West, close to Rimrock Road, has been planned by developers.

Concerns have been raised by residents of the Copper Ridge subdivision regarding proposed zone changes that they believe could lead to the construction of apartment complexes.

On Wednesday afternoon, residents of the area came together to sign a petition that would be presented to the city council and zoning board.

The petition demonstrates the locals’ objection to the proposed west of Copper Ridge development.

“We’re not expecting that area to stay as just an open field forever,” said Hillary Johnson, who helped organize the petition drive. “We’re not necessarily against the growth, but what we want is it to be consistent with what is currently already here.”

Johnson’s family does not reside in the quarter-mile radius that is necessary for notification to be sent.

“From my house personally is about half a mile in terms of where they want to rezone and to build,” Johnson said. “

So I’ll be affected even though I’m not required to be notified. And that’s basically how a lot of people in our community are.”

Victor Grant, who was also involved in organizing the petition effort, lives directly on Copper Ridge’s edge and has a view of the proposed development’s land from his backyard.

“We knew they’d be building houses up along the railroad tracks,” Grant said. “But nothing like what they’re proposing.”

The area is classified as N3, suburban neighborhood residential, which permits single-family homes up to three floors, according to the city of Billings planning department.

Southern California-based Williams Homes wishes to retain a portion of the complex as N3.

A portion of the site designated as NX1, mixed residential 1, which permits up to four-unit buildings with a maximum height of two and a half stories, is to be developed.

The business wants NX2, mixed residential 2, to the west, which would permit three-story buildings with two to eight units.

The original plan intended for four-story buildings with five or more apartments to be built under the NX3 zoning. However, following a meeting with neighbors nearly two weeks earlier, this was modified to NX2.

A statement was released by a representative of Sanderson Stewart, the company that works with and represents Williams Homes.

“In response to concerns expressed by the neighbors in our January 25 meeting, we’ve downsized our application,” John Halverson, a planner at Sanderson Stewart, stated in an email. “As a result, our application now contains only zones which already exist in the area.

At that meeting, residents were told the subdivision would add up to 900 vehicles, “I feel like traffic would get 10 times worse,” Grant said.

A roundabout at the intersection of 62nd Street West and Rimrock Road is proposed, according to Sanderson Stewart.

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