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Billings City Council approves Elks Lodge zone change to make way for apartments

Second reading to come March 14
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Posted at 9:58 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 10:15:49-05

BILLINGS — The Billings City Council approved a change to zoning at the Elks Lodge property at 394 Lewis Ave to make way for a possible 200 new residences of apartments and town homes in its Monday night meeting.

The eight-acre Elks Lodge property was changed from all commercial zoning to a mix of commercial and neighborhood zones, which would allow for the addition of residential housing.

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The Billings City Council meets in the Billings Public Library for its Feb. 28 meeting to talk Elks Lodge zoning.

The space bordering Ninth Street West was zoned NX1, which allows for single to four-family dwellings with a maximum build height of 2.5 stories or 27 feet. While the south side of the property was zoned NX3, which requires dwellings of five or more to be constructed.

The land where Elks Tennis Center currently sits was kept commercially zoned.

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The Elks Tennis Center in Billings.

Utah-based Thrive Development has been the only entity interested in the Elks Lodge property since it went up for sale two years back. Representatives for Thrive said they intend to keep the tennis courts in tact for use by the community and possible new residents.

The council voted 10-1 in favor of the zone change, with Council Member Roy Neese of Ward 2 was the lone no vote. Council members, Kendra Shaw, Ed Gulick, Jennifer Owen, Danny Choriki, Denise Joy, Pam Purinton, Daniel Tidswell, Mike Boyett, Tom Rupsis and Mayor Bill Cole all voted in favor.

The zone change will be up for a second reading in the Council coming up on March 14, where the change will then be finalized.

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