Wapikiya residents: Hillview Crossing townhome project poses risks

We are submitting this letter in response to Martin Kidston’s article published in a recent Missoula Current, in which he presented the challenges facing the development of the Hillview Crossing project through the perspective of the developer’s legal representative, Alan McCormick.

As stated by Mr. McCormick, “the city has an obligation to do its due diligence, but the question is one of reasonableness.” Also cited in the article, “members of the City Council have repeatedly stated their role of protecting public health and safety by ensuring development plays out in a neat and orderly manner.”

In viewing this proposed development from the angle of public safety, let’s outline potential hazards for the neighborhoods further up Hillview Way, the safety of future residents of this development and also the concerns of the neighborhood below this steep development.

The first critical issue is that there can only be one possible entrance/exit for this development onto Hillview Way. Due to the proposed size of this development, we can assume two cars per residence or 120 cars for the 64 proposed units. Hillview Way is a two lane, steep grade with no current turn lane and is already well-travelled during rush hours.

The residential roads within the development itself are all dead ends with hammer head turn arounds for emergency vehicles. It is proposed that these roads will be kept clear and maintained by the HOA. The HOA will also be responsible for enforcing no parking zones to ensure accessibility for emergency vehicles and safety of the residents.

The third concern is that there has been no mention of appropriate bonding to protect the residents of the current neighborhood downhill from this development from financial liability due to possible flooding. This proposed development will have within its borders, acres of hard surfaces, roofs, driveways and roads and the runoff from these surfaces will be substantial in an area where seasonal runoff is already an issue.

As former residents of Bozeman, we have seen the results of ill-conceived developments and the negative impacts to that community as a whole. These poor judgements cannot be undone and the community will live with those decisions forever. Also, increased costs due to building on this very steep land would do absolutely nothing to address affordability.