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Deer Lodge residents have questions about planned subdivision that promises attainable housing

Deer Lodge residents mull over proposed subdivision
Posted at 6:14 PM, Apr 24, 2024

DEER LODGE — There are big plans in the works for a parcel of property located on the edge of Deer Lodge near Interstate 90. Many in the city say that it could be a way to offer attainable housing for those looking. But others in the city have questions and are asking for more transparency.

"I want to make sure that everything that’s being done is fully transparent to the community. I want to be sure that we’re not looking at building big and bringing in big britches, if you will," says Courtney Rasely after attending a meeting with about 50 others including the contractors for Beaumont Place.

Rasely is a teacher, a 4-H leader, and an adjacent property owner to one of the two proposed building sites. She is concerned that while the city and developers have been meeting for over a year, the community only recently found out about the subdivision plans.

"I just—I want to make sure that everything that is being done is fully transparent. We have members of the community that need to be taken care of first and this is happening all over our country right now where people with money are coming in and then our locals fizzle out and I don’t want to see that happen here," says Rasely.

During the meeting, the contractor detailed plans for a mix of designs for the subdivision that include single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments with construction of the townhomes coming first as they search for investors on the apartment complexes.

"So the housing is as attainable as it can be considering the current market," says Jordan Green, chief administrative officer for the City of Deer Lodge.

Green and other city officials have been working with the contractor for a year. In the slide show presented by Corner Post General Contracting, the townhouses and loft townhouses range in price from $280,000 to $380,000.

"We’re really passionate about attainable housing. We’re not trying to build houses that are only for a very select few people. We’re trying to build homes that will appeal to a broad audience and we’re trying to build something that is going to be here for a very long time," says Lin Hicks of Corner Post General Contracting and the developer of the Beaumont Place subdivision.

Hicks was peppered with questions from the audience while he and city officials postulated that the new build would become an economic driver for the community, adding additional residents who would likely shop and dine locally and increase the tax base.

Hicks asked the audience if anyone in attendance had plans to purchase a home in the subdivision and three or four people raised their hands.

Towards the end of the meeting a woman in the back shouted her approval of the proposed subdivision but for those asking questions, did they feel they got adequate answers?

"Yes and no. Part of the problem is some of the neighbors as well as myself have flooding issues from these fields that are being developed on yearly. For years these fields have been deemed wetlands and it was only in the matter of the last couple of weeks that a delineation has been done," says Rasely.

The proposal heads to the city council in the first week of May and Hicks says he hopes to break ground for the first townhouses by the end of May.