BILLINGS - Developers have proposed a new subdivision near Rimrock Road, west of 70th Street West.
Those living in the Copper Ridge subdivision have some concerns about some proposed zone changes that they say could result in the construction of apartment buildings.
The neighborhood got together on Wednesday afternoon, to sign a petition to take to the zoning commission and city council.
The petition shows the residents’ opposition to the proposed development to the west of Copper Ridge.
"We're not expecting that area to stay as just an open field forever,” said Hillary Johnson, who helped organize the petition drive. “We're not necessarily against the growth, but what we want is it to be consistent with what is currently already here."
Johnson and her family live outside the quarter-mile area that is required to receive notification.
"From my house personally is about half a mile in terms of where they want to rezone and to build,” Johnson said. “So I'll be affected regardless of the fact that I'm not required to be notified. And that's basically how a lot of people in our community are."
Victor Grant, who also helped organize the petition drive, lives right on the edge of Copper Ridge and can look out his backyard at the land for the proposed development.
"We knew they'd be building houses up along the railroad tracks,” Grant said. “But nothing like what they're proposing."
According to the city of Billings planning department, that area is zoned as N3, suburban neighborhood residential, which allows single-family housing up to three stories.
Williams Homes, based in southern California, wants to keep some of the development as N3.
It is proposing to make part of the land, NX1, mixed residential 1, which allows two-and-a-half-story buildings with up to four units each.
To the west, the company wants NX2, mixed residential 2, which would allow two-to-eight-unit buildings up to three stories high.
Originally, the proposal called for NX3 zoning, which allows four-story buildings with five or more units. But this was changed to NX2 after a meeting with neighbors almost two weeks ago.
A spokesman for Sanderson Stewart, which is working for and representing Williams Homes, gave a statement.
“In response to concerns expressed by the neighbors in our January 25 meeting, we've downsized our application,” John Halverson, a planner at Sanderson Stewart, stated in an email. “As a result, our application now contains only zones which already exist in the area.
At that meeting, residents were told the subdivision would add up to 900 vehicles,
“I feel like traffic would get 10 times worse,” Grant said.
According to Sanderson Stewart, a roundabout is planned at Rimrock Road and 62nd Street West.