The long, drawn out debate over the Black-Olive proposal has finally ended. On April 11th, about 7 months after it was proposed in Sep. 2016, city commissioners decided to nix the proposal after concerns were raised about insufficient parking and blocked views of the surrounding countryside.
Bozeman residents seem to agree with this decision too. A recent poll conducted by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle showed that 65.2 percent of its readers approved of the city’s choice to deny the project.
The project’s design was to feature 56 apartments in five stories and a commercial business space on the ground-floor, along with 37 on-site parking spaces.
With the proposed project site located so close to Bozeman’s cherished historic neighborhood south of Main Street, neighboring residents were concerned that the building would ruin “Bozeman’s small-town charm.”
The major reason why commissioners voted 4-1 to deny the proposal was due to lack of sufficient parking, as all housing projects within Bozeman’s zoning districts require at least one parking space per unit. Neighbors in the vicinity to the Black-Olive project site raised concerns about residents filling up already crowded street parking in front of their homes.
So What Now?
The project’s developer, Andy Holloran, wants to regroup, modify the design, and resubmit the proposal for later review. If the parking issue and building aesthetics can be reworked and are in line with the development guidelines for downtown’s zoning district, the Black-Olive project may be revisited and reconsidered in the near future.
The Black-Olive project may have been scrutinized, but that’s not to say that mid-rise buildings are out of the picture for Bozeman. There are still three mid-rise projects that have either been approved, already built, or are currently under construction, including the SOBO Lofts, Element Hotel, and the 5 West Building.
Perhaps this was the right project but for the wrong location, given that we may be seeing a reconfigured proposal again soon!