Helena council delays subdivision approval

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Helena city council voted Sept. 6 to table the approval of a 1,250-acre subdivision plan to the city’s Sept. 19 council meeting, citing issues raised by city attorney Frank C.

&uot;Butch&uot; Ellis and various council members as the reason for the delay.

The subdivision, called Hillsboro North, was the third part of a three-part development project by USS Real Estate that already includes the Hillsboro subdivision (800 acres, 1,400 homes) and Hillsboro South (1,530 acres, 3,100 homes).

The Helena planning and zoning commission had already given its approval for the project at its Sept. 1 meeting, but councilmember Katherine Ennis said there are still things that needed to be hashed out.

&uot;It’s as simple as sidewalks and as complicated at legal wording,&uot; Ennis said.

She said that the city attorney had not had sufficient time to look USS Real Estate’s master plan and that she still had significant concerns regarding a number of issues.

&uot;The master plan is very confusing,&uot; Ennis said.

&uot;We have to make sure we protect the city on all sides.&uot;

Attorney Darrell Miller, representing the KPS group which engineered all three Hillsboro projects, noted during his presentation to the council that his client had already met with the planning and zoning commission twice and held two work sessions to develop a master plan that was acceptable to both sides.

&uot;We are looking to speed this process up,&uot; Myers said.

&uot;It’s time for us to quit wasting the city’s time.&uot;

The council, however, felt that another work session was necessary in order to ensure that the master plan is in order.

&uot;We appreciate the work that you have done and all the meetings you have been a part of,&uot; Council member Tom Lefebvre said to Miller following his presentation.

&uot;But it looks like we are going to have one more meeting.&uot;

Helena mayor Sonny Penhale appointed a committee to meet with USS Real Estate representatives in the work sessions to go through the issues brought up by the council and Ellis