Housing Development for New Duplexes

Developers have revealed plans for a new housing development just blocks from downtown. The downtown housing development consists of 16 duplexes on a roughly two acre property. The plans are now up for public comment and are causing some disruption amongst the neighboring communities. According to neighbors, they were not even aware that the housing duplex development was going up until neighbors started moving out. Developers are addressing the communities concerns by making changes to their building footprint and site plan.


You can read more information about the new development from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle Below.

“Out-of-state developers scaled back their plans to build a series of duplexes blocks from downtown Bozeman. As those designs go out for public comment this week, the California company hopes the changes are enough for the city’s support.

Santa Clarita-based company Williams Homes, LLC, plans to build 16 units on a less than two-acre property along North Willson Avenue between Short and Villard streets. To make space for the development, people moved from roughly 31 rentals on the property earlier this year. Roughly half were mobile homes.

As initial designs began to work through the city, some neighbors said the plans were too big and clashed with the historic part of town. City planners said the designs should weave in more of the neighborhood’s overall look for a better chance at approval.

Tony and Laurie Thatcher bought their home next to that lot roughly 16 years ago. The couple said they didn’t know the project was coming until their neighbors began to move out of the rentals next door. Then they saw designs for the proposed three-story duplexes in the newspaper.

“We knew it was going to get developed eventually. My personal hope was that whoever developed it would develop it with the community in mind and with open communication with those impacted,” Tony Thatcher said.

Williams Homes president Lance Williams said it’s hard to reach everybody to talk through their concerns, but he’d continue to try. He said the latest plans meet city building rules and take into account what they’ve heard from others.

“We have incorporated the city’s comments and also the comments from the community, and I think it’s been a good collaborative effort,” Williams said. “We think the plans have improved and think it will be a good project the community will appreciate going forward.”

Williams Homes filed its initial site plans with the city this summer to build eight duplexes, each with apartment garages, landscaping and sidewalks. In a letter laying out the most recent plans, project applicants wrote they believe they addressed all of the concerns given by Bozeman staff and neighboring homeowners.

The latest plans lower the three-story buildings’ height, some by roughly 5 feet overall, have three new elevations that incorporate local architecture styles and include details like porches, stoops and stairwells found throughout the neighborhood.

They also scaled back some of the windows and added more space for grass in some front yards to break up the buildings a bit more.

City planners originally raised concern over the repetition of the project’s floor plans. The developers said local sales teams, interior designers and architects vetted those designs.

“We believe the floorplan is appropriate for the site,” according to the letter. “However we did make revisions to our building footprint and site plan that we feel addresses this concern.”

The company hosted a neighborhood conversation to get residents’ take on the project, which they say is where some of the adjustments came from.

The Thatchers were able to eventually meet with a project architect. Tony Thatcher said he’s still waiting to see what the designs will mean for the land that shares a line with his house.

He said he’s grateful for some of the changes, though “it’s at the far end of the spectrum of intensity of development that we expected.”

Public comment on the designs are open through Oct. 30. The plans are scheduled to go before the city’s Design Review Board on Oct. 24.

Written comments can go to the City of Bozeman Department of Community Development, P.O. Box 1230, Bozeman, or to [email protected]. Reference Application 18287 in any comments.”


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