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The Billings City Council annexates and rezones land to accommodate more homes



Billings, Montana – On Monday night, the Billings City Council decided to annex and rezone land in the West End so that it may be used to build more housing, including an apartment building.

It’s a concept that worries the locals who already live there.

The proposed project for the area along Shiloh Road and Central Avenue would involve two, six, and eight plexes as well as apartment-style buildings.

The annexation was approved by the council with a unanimous vote, and the rezoning was approved by a 6-3 margin.

While some in the adjacent neighborhoods have some reservations, others of the proponents claim that it is inexpensive housing.

Developers suggested that Yellowstone County land that is currently zoned as agricultural open space be annexed by the city of Billings.

A mixed residential plan neighborhood development requested the zone modification from Dorn Property and Homes, LLC and Dorn/Lowe, LLC.

“I’m very cognizant of the fact that I don’t live in that neighborhood,” Katie Harrison said about her support for the housing. “I’m very much in support of any effort to provide more housing and most importantly, I think, affordable housing.”

“Any housing, any multifamily housing is good housing for the city,” said Virginia Duke who supports the project. “We have underproduced and we need more housing to fill that shortage.”

“I would like to see more development like that within the city limits,” said Melissa Smith, who is also in favor of the plan. “I think it would be great for growing our workforce for boosting our economy.”

A zone change is being opposed by the neighbors, who claim it is not intended for public safety, public health, water, sewer, schools, or parks.

“We’re concerned with the increased flow of traffic,” said Toby Erickson, who lives near land for the proposed project.
“We’re concerned with the increased population, fire and rescue, increased load on the school system.”

“If that becomes a high-traffic street, my property values are definitely going to go down from where they were,” said Roger Furman, also a nearby resident. “And as I said, it’s going to change the complexity of the entire area.”

“There has been no discussion about the environmental impact of those vehicles, vehicle runoff and everything else that could contaminate the groundwater,” said one man during the public comment.


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