[MissoulaGov] Committee Update 3-2-11
tmskufca at gmail.com
Fri Mar 4 07:27:22 MST 2011
You are exactly right: there is good density and bad. What made it most
difficult to side with OPG on this was that there wasn't a real project tied
to the zoning request. Yes, Jamie presented a possible project, and although
it was a good solution, it wasn't great. The reason it wasn't great is
because he was shackled with the parking requirement. A great design would
have started as a PUD. Then the huge expanse of parking lot could have been
tempered with some garden space. No where in Jamie's design did I see any
vegetable growing potential, or even a minor play area for children (or even
a horse-shoe toss space).
Incidentally, I challenge anyone to meet the allowable density of the
proposed zoning and still maintain the parking requirement. I believe it is
virtually impossible, even at a 45 ft. height. This is why the 90-some units
were not proposed in Jamie's design.
On Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 8:35 AM, Geoff Badenoch <geoffb at ism.net> wrote:
> Once again, Tim and I find our viewpoints converge. I have always held
> that key parts of the community development di scussion went off track when
> the things became centered around DENSITY/Anti-Density. Density done poorly
> is what to avoid. Density done well benefits the community and the
> neighborhood. Who would embrace density done poorly? Only the people who
> make money from it. Give me a developer who knows how to make money from
> doing density well any day. It is more difficult and requires
> thoughtfulness, but with the right cooperation from the public and private
> sector, it can be done.
> As for Russell, I agree it is better to proceed correctly, but we must
> work more deliberately at proceeding. My mother used to tell her children,
> “You can’t go anywhere in neutral but downhill.”
> Geoff Badenoch
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com [mailto:
> missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com] *On Behalf Of *Tim Skufca
> *Sent:* Thursday, March 03, 2011 7:18 AM
> *To:* Bob Jaffe
> *Cc:* missoulagov at cmslists.com
> *Subject:* Re: [MissoulaGov] Committee Update 3-2-11
> Bob, et al:
> The conflict on Catlin is difficult only because there is a well organized
> neighborhood voice opposed, vs. much to support upzoning. I was certainly in
> the minority in my support for OPG's recommendation (as a Planning Board
> I judge the issues put before us on the Planning Board by reviewing the
> project in light of the Ten Principals to Smart Growth. Every single
> Principal was invoked here:
> 1. Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
> 2. Create walkable neighborhoods
> 3. Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration
> 4. Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of
> 5. Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective
> 6. Mix land uses
> 7. Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical
> environmental areas
> 8. Provide a variety of transportation choices
> 9. Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
> 10. Take advantage of compact building design
> I recently applied for an opening at Mountain Line and as I left the
> building I realized that if I got the job I would not be able to use the bus
> service to get to work because of the hours of operation. It's with DENSITY
> that will allow extended hours of service. It's with DENSITY that the
> pressure upon the farmlands on the periphery can be reduced , it's with
> DENSITY that enables a neighborhood to be viable, livable, and walkable.
> DENSITY is how an urban environment can build efficiently, with energy
> One of the biggest concerns from the neighbors was based on how
> difficult parking/traffic is already, mostly due to Sussex school events. It
> is a bad precedence to allow the automobile to dictate our neighborhoods. We
> should be wise enough to plan beyond the automobile in our urban core. Which
> brings me to comment on Russel St: it is better to delay than to proceed
> incorrectly. This corridor will have a tremendous affect on the livability
> of the neighborgood. Let's do it right.
> Tim Skufca
> On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:43 PM, Bob Jaffe <BJaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us>
> The main item for me today was the rezone request for 217 Catlin Street.
> http://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=5591 This is the
> property across the street from the housing authority project on Catlin
> behind the Good Food Store. The parcel runs the full width of the block
> between Catlin and Garfield. The current zoning allows for 16 units per acre
> at a height of 35 feet. The developer is requesting to rezone the property
> to 43 units per acre at 45 feet. It is a 2+ acre parcel that could yield
> about 94 units at the proposed density. The developer’s stated intention is
> to build a complex of multi-family buildings with a total of 72 one bedroom
> As one may expect, the neighbors to the project are unhappy. They say that
> they welcome development of the parcel, but not at two or three times the
> currently allowed zoning. Unhappy is probably an understatement. Some of
> them are passionately displeased.
> This is the first controversial development proposal we have seen in quite
> some time. Possibly it’s a good omen for the economy.
> The issues are that we have various growth policies and transportation
> plans and visions for the future that all promote the virtues of infill and
> compact development near the urban core in proximity to services. But where
> is the limit? A few years ago we approved the UFDA plan (Urban Fringe
> Development A??). This document built off the premise that the historical
> growth in Missoula has been about 2% per year. So if we project out the next
> 20 years or so we figure we need so many additional units to be constructed.
> Then through some semi-scientific process figure out how many of those units
> should be absorbed in each section of town. Then we can look at the zoned
> potential of parcels that currently have an assessed land value that exceeds
> the assessed improvements value. This represents readily developable land.
> In this particular section, Russell to Reserve, the zoned potential of
> developable land can hold twice the number of units that we anticipate
> needing. So one may question why we would even consider allowing such a
> dramatic upzone when the current zoning supports adequate development for
> our long term growth plans.
> What we are being told is that even though the zoning density supports our
> growth plans, it does not support the cost of development. The developer’s
> representatives, Jamie Hoffman and Ken Jenkins, told us that you can not
> build at 16 units per acre and make money. Jamie said that of the nearly 30
> multi-family projects he has been involved in over the years only a few have
> been less than 20 units/acre. Generally they get built in commercial zones
> not encumbered by density limits.
> If this is indeed the case, then we have a bit of a problem. I know we have
> gone over this before but it has been a while. It would be nice if someone
> in the development community could do a little presentation on the economics
> of real estate development. Here are my wild ass guesses on this project:
> $400,000 for the land. I would hope there is some economy of scale when
> building something like this so lets say $90 per foot. 72 one bedroom units.
> Let’s guess 500 feet each. That comes to $3,640,000. Round it up to $4
> million with parking, landscaping, and whatever else may be involved.
> Then you figure brand new one bedroom units will rent for something like
> $600. So that works out to $518,400 per year in income at full occupancy.
> Take out $75,000 in management and maintenance and you get $443,400 in
> income per year. Does that pencil for a $4,000,000 investment? I’m not sure.
> When a developer looks at a project and says that doesn’t pencil, they must
> be using some rough numbers like I just did. It seems like this is the sort
> of thing we should be privy to as policy makers. From what we are being
> told, our policy is based on a reality that no longer exists in this
> community. I think we need to get to the bottom of this.
> The public hearing on the rezone will be Monday night.
> In other news, we heard an update from the fire department on all that they
> do. They have concerns about loss of grant money but all is well. We also
> approved a project to improve the pedestrian crossings into the University
> and had a lengthy discussion about proposals from the Bike Pedestrian board.
> The most actionable amongst them a request to form a subcommittee to develop
> options for how we will finance sidewalk projects in the future.
> Thanks for your interest,
> Bob Jaffe
> Missoula City Council Ward 3
> 1225 South 2nd West
> Missoula, MT 59801
> (406) 880-2052
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