Copper Ridge subdivision

A bulldozer flattens dirt near the Copper Ridge subdivision off Rimrock Road on Tuesday.

BRONTE WITTPENN, Gazette staff

The city and county planning board unanimously approved the 92-lot Copper Ridge Subdivision, 7th Filing on Tuesday. The Billings City Council will consider adding its approval during its Nov. 13 meeting.

Save for developer Gary Oakland, no one offered comments in support or opposition to the subdivision, which is north of Rimrock Road, east of 70th Street West and west of the existing Copper Ridge subdivision. Four large parcels in this filing are west of 70th Street West.

In August, the city council annexed the property, which is zoned Residential 7000 (R-70) and Residential 5000 (R-50).

Planning staff recommended — and the board approved — eight conditions, including requiring that developers construct and maintain a temporary fire access road that will support a 40-ton fire truck. Developers must also contribute cash to the city of Billings in lieu of donating parkland.

According to a staff report, almost 26 acres of agricultural land will be taken out of production with this subdivision filing proposal. Planner Dave Green said all roads in the subdivision will be paved to city standards.

Statewide recognition

Planning Division Manager Monica Plecker presented a plaque to the committee for the 2017 Outstanding Planning Project Award, awarded last month by the Montana Association of Planners to honor the committee’s and staff’s efforts in developing new suburban subdivision regulations.

Committee member David Goodridge made a presentation during the statewide group’s annual conference in Miles City, detailing the process that went into developing the new regulations.

Plecker said the project nomination “highlighted the exceptional public participation process that ultimately resulted in a seamless adoption process.”

“This was not a staff-driven amendment process,” the award indicated. “Instead, this was a collaborative effort between engineers, realtors, homebuilders, contractors and others."

“Rather than sit around and complain, the board did something about it, and staff identified some key players in the community and convinced them to participate,” Board President Darell Tunnicliff said. “I’m very proud of this award and more proud of what it will do for our community for a long, long time. Oftentimes we have the energy to complain, but not to correct.”

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City Government Reporter

City reporter for The Billings Gazette.