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Student Housing Complex Proposal Raises Concerns

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BOZEMAN -

A proposed housing project in Bozeman is raising concerns for many nearby residents.

A developer is looking to build a student housing complex with two and three bedroom apartments.

The apartment complex would be located south of Opportunity Way and east of 11th Avenue.

"It's going to have an impact that is going to go beyond college age renters," said Rick Meis, concerned resident.

Rick Meis is one of the residents concerned about a new student housing complex that may be built near his home.

"I came into this neighborhood expecting the field to get built into houses," said Meis.

Jason Lunden said he moved his family specifically to this neighborhood because it was close to his children's school and the open land nearby was zoned for more single-family homes.

"It would really change the character of the neighborhood," said Lunden.

Lunden said if this new development comes in, he might consider moving.

"I could really see a lot of families leaving this neighborhood because of that potential development," said Lunden.

The plan would include 12 apartment buildings, a clubhouse, pool, basketball courts and parking areas.

Right now, the area is zoned R1 meaning single family homes are expected to be built on the land.

A North Carolina developer would like to change the zoning area to R4, which would mean the land would be zoned for high-density residential use.

If city commissioners approve the zoning, the plan would expand Arnold Street and 11th Avenue.

Both Meis and Lunden live right on Arnold Street and are concerned that would create safety issues on the streets for their children.

"My concern would be the increase traffic flow and the safety of my kids being able to walk to school," said Lunden.

"There's a grade school and families here with kids. There are people riding bicycles and using that street all the time," said Meis.

College student, Erin Dewitt lives on MSU's campus. She said if the apartments were to be built, she would consider living there.

"I thought it was a good place to be because it's close enough to campus so that I can walk, but it's still far enough away, so that I can have my own place," said Dewitt.

Meis said 125 households have raised concerns about the proposed development. A Facebook page has also been created.

A public meeting on the proposed student housing complex is scheduled for Tuesday, February 4 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

There the city zoning committee will make recommendations to the city council. City council is expected to make a decision on the zoning request at the meeting on February 24.

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