Mullan Area Master Plan

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Rendering of Walkable Neighborhood Character

City of Missoula and Missoula County officials are seeking public comments on the first draft of the Mullan Area Master Plan and Zoning Code. Use the space provided below to provide comment. (See Important Links, and Key Dates for specific meetings times and topics).

This site is part of the ongoing public engagement process for the Mullan Area Master Plan. The Mullan Area Master Plan team is working in coordination with the Mullan BUILD project to set land-use patterns in alignment with the natural landscape, the city growth policy, and the community’s values. The draft plan (see Important Links) incorporates five goals for new development in the area:

  • Be compatible, respectful and conducive to building great new places.
  • Increase access to nature and parks and enhance Grant Creek eco-health.
  • Be built around affordability, sustainability, transit and livability.
  • Incorporate safe, comfortable and interesting streets for walking and biking.
  • Be the result of consensus among landowners, public and private operations and other stakeholders.

You can find the Key Dates for public outreach events on the sidebar; we encourage you to participate in the events of your choosing.

The study area for the Mullan Area Master Plan is also the recipient of a 13 million dollar BUILD grant. Since the BUILD grant is aimed at constructing major streets and trails and restoring a half-mile of Grant Creek, there is an urgency to land use planning in the area.

Communicating with the public and stakeholders is a key aspect of the early stages of this process in order to create a shared vision of how the Mullan Area should develop to best suit the future of Missoula. Please, if you haven't already, visit the main website for the Virtual Charrette Hub, where you will find more information and additional ways to see the project's progress with videos and other materials: https://www.mullanareamasterplan.com/

While you are here, please help in the creation of the master plan by offering your input and suggestions in the space provided below:

City of Missoula and Missoula County officials are seeking public comments on the first draft of the Mullan Area Master Plan and Zoning Code. Use the space provided below to provide comment. (See Important Links, and Key Dates for specific meetings times and topics).

This site is part of the ongoing public engagement process for the Mullan Area Master Plan. The Mullan Area Master Plan team is working in coordination with the Mullan BUILD project to set land-use patterns in alignment with the natural landscape, the city growth policy, and the community’s values. The draft plan (see Important Links) incorporates five goals for new development in the area:

  • Be compatible, respectful and conducive to building great new places.
  • Increase access to nature and parks and enhance Grant Creek eco-health.
  • Be built around affordability, sustainability, transit and livability.
  • Incorporate safe, comfortable and interesting streets for walking and biking.
  • Be the result of consensus among landowners, public and private operations and other stakeholders.

You can find the Key Dates for public outreach events on the sidebar; we encourage you to participate in the events of your choosing.

The study area for the Mullan Area Master Plan is also the recipient of a 13 million dollar BUILD grant. Since the BUILD grant is aimed at constructing major streets and trails and restoring a half-mile of Grant Creek, there is an urgency to land use planning in the area.

Communicating with the public and stakeholders is a key aspect of the early stages of this process in order to create a shared vision of how the Mullan Area should develop to best suit the future of Missoula. Please, if you haven't already, visit the main website for the Virtual Charrette Hub, where you will find more information and additional ways to see the project's progress with videos and other materials: https://www.mullanareamasterplan.com/

While you are here, please help in the creation of the master plan by offering your input and suggestions in the space provided below:

Public Comment

We are accepting public comment on the Mullan Area Master Plan draft documents. After reading through the draft documents, please share your thoughts on the materials here.

(You must be registered with Engage Missoula to comment here.) 

You can also contact the project planner directly (see Who's Listening).






You need to be signed in to comment in this Guest Book. Click here to Sign In or Register to get involved

The overall Mullan Master Plan raises multiple concerns, but there is also rezoning that was being proposed that will significantly increase those concerns. The proposed 347 residential lots would be a density increase that would overwhelm the current and proposed infrastructure changes, making it extremely difficult to navigate the division streets as well as Mullan Road. I am concerned with the number of people that would inhabit an area with currently 1 road going East into town, and only a second proposed road with the connection to Broadway. There are already times during the day where it is almost impossible to turn East onto Mullan, especially during the winter months. This rezoning proposal of multi-family style units would congest the area even further, making it more difficult than it already is. My other concern with the type of housing that is being proposed is the increase in potential rental units, and transitional housing that would create inconsistencies with the current dwellings being built in the division, and the future construction of the proposed units. Currently we have single-family units in our division, some of which are rentals, but still adhere to the architectural aspects of single-family homes. Adding courtyard/patio style dwellings, row houses and townhome/duplex style dwellings would decrease the desire to live in a development specifically designed with single-family homes, thus decreasing the property values of those who already reside in this subdivision. My final concern is that this is a very child-friendly subdivision, with hundreds of kids who are frequently out and about with their friends. Adding the proposed 347 residential units greatly increases the population density, which in turn increases the traffic within the subdivision streets. That will increase the danger of those children being injured as a result of the increased frequency of cars on the road. The proposed rezoning will bottleneck the already congested streets coming out of the 44 Ranch Development, as many people work in town around the same time. This bottlenecking not only has an impact on those who live in the division, but for those who live further west on Mullan, who have only one route to drive into town. Assuming one car per dwelling (and maybe more for transitional housing, as many people have roommates), the increase in population density will overwhelm the current and proposed infrastructure. There will be a greater danger to the children who have a wonderful area and neighborhood to play in, and will decrease the property value of the homes that are already build, and will continue to be built within the development.

Samantha about 15 hours ago

The Mullan Master Plan looks great. One important clarification is needed.REFERENCES MUST BE MADE AS WELL AS EMPHASIZED TO INFORM RESIDENTS* that MPO (Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization – in charge of planning and providing a safe and efficient transportation system), intends to improve Mullan Road. • Residents need to know that the Mullan Master Plan Development Team and MPO have congruent plans, including the need to make Mullan Road safe, convenient, and able to accommodate the ongoing and significant increase in vehicle traffic. • Without a clear understanding, concerned residents are left to imagine the worst regarding normal, daily traffic as well as dangerously obstructed traffic, of personal and emergency vehicles, in the event of evacuation.** Montana’s wildfire history, the current fires on the west coast, and the reality of climate change make evacuation a distinct possibility. The Mullan Master Plan introduces the goal of expanding Missoula’s housing options along with the creation of an attractive, safe, and livable neighborhood community. *City and County proposals often use condensed, vague language. Continue to clarify by using easily understood words and sentences. **Mullan Area offers the appeal of wildland/urban interface as well as classification as a high wildfire risk area. Residents depend on city and county government to continue its obligation to safe guard the public.

Christine 2 days ago

September 21, 2020Missoula Consolidated Planning Board127 East Main Street, Suite 2Missoula, MT 59802To Whom It May Concern:We are residents of the Pleasant View neighborhood. We wish to express our concerns about the Adoption of the Mullan Traditional Neighborhood Development Form-Based Code. We realize that you are in the beginning stages of this approval process, but would like to express our concerns about the traffic burdens that will obviously affect our neighborhood. Based on the boundaries of this proposed district, it appears that little consideration has been made on addressing adequate and safe traffic flow. Specifically, we are concerned that there appears to be limited streets being added to address north/south traffic flow, other than dumping most of the traffic on to England Blvd. Our homes border England Blvd. and we have noticed that traffic flow has increased significantly over the past few years. During the school year, there are no less than 10 school buses that use England Blvd causing increased noise and congestion twice daily. Our neighborhood association has been discussing options to address these concerns for years, but little has been done to resolve the traffic issues. We are hoping that you plan to study and address these traffic issues. There are several areas where traffic bottlenecks occur including both the north and south ends of Flynn Lane and the intersection of England Blvd and Reserve. For years we have been told that Mary Jane will eventually be expanded from Broadway to Mullan Rd to relieve this congestion, but to date no changes have been made to facilitate this. Some of the suggestions that have been made to address these bottlenecks include adding a stoplight at both ends of Flynn Lane and adding a right hand turn lane at the intersection of England and Reserve; but again, we have seen no progress regarding these suggestions. We would be interested in knowing what you plan to do to adequately address the current and future traffic flow issues. Will there be a process for those of us living in this area to be able to provide input to your planning board? Your letter dated September 11, 2020 mentioned that notification went out to all property owners within the proposed rezoning or within 300 feet. We feel that you should expand this notification to all residents of Pleasant View Estates, as the increased traffic flow will affect this entire neighborhood. We look forward to hearing back from you regarding our concerns.Respectively submitted, Leslie and Phillip Mullette 2798 Fleet Street

mullette 2 days ago

Thank you for this opportunity to submit comments regarding the Mullan Road Redevelopment. After many years of concern for the area behind my home, I am grateful to have this platform with which to communicate.I am commenting today on the issue of conservation. The area at the west side of the proposed plan, labeled “Hiawatha Farm” in one part of the plan, is a riparian ecosystem that allows for an abundance of wildlife. This area was part of a flood plain mitigation that includes the subdivision I live in. This mitigation was within the last 2 decades, and subsequently has created an area that now has water throughout the year. As a result, habitat exists now where a diversity of wildlife are present. There is a family of Red-Tailed Hawks and a family of Great Horned Owls that live in the trees just above the water. Blue Herons fly overhead and use the cottonwoods as nesting sites. There are visiting Sandhill Cranes each summer. Additionally, there are deer, coyotes, skunks, foxes, frogs, toads, ducks, geese, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Yellow-Headed Blackbirds, and many other birds that choose to visit, live, and nest in the area. There has recently been a family of Bald Eagles with two juveniles frequenting the area as well. Is there any type study being done to determine the effects on wildlife as we spread our urban developments? If not, I would humbly request that this be part of the process for this area. And in determining those potential effects, what will you do to mitigate them?After reading much of the proposed plan at mullanareamasterplan.com, I feel like Dover, Kohl, & Partners offers a unique approach to the area. It is inspiring to see an alternative to housing development that is not based solely on how many units they can put in one acre or how much money they will be able to get out of the project in the long term. However, the current plan, as written, seems to focus on conservation for human use and recreation rather than conservation for the wildlife systems that exist in these areas.It is my opinion that the City of Missoula has approved far too many multi-family dwelling units that destroy habitat, block mountain views, create traffic congestion, and do not fulfill the true desires of the people who have lived here for decades. Many of the apartment areas that have been built toward the west end of Missoula are not anything like what is being proposed in the Mullan Area Master Plan. They lack the CSAs and farm areas, community centers, trails and parks. I am concerned that the vagueness of the zoning request would allow developers and the city to take advantage and create further population density in the area. How can you assure surrounding landowners that our wildlife areas, views, and peace will not be impeded?As my main concern is the for the property directly north of the Mullan Trail subdivision, I would like to request that specific measures be required for building sites. As it is stated currently in the plan, the possibility of apartments and multi-family housing exists. This would mean increased population density in the area which brings noise, light, and consumer pollution. It does not reflect abundant wildlife conservation efforts in that area, and I am deeply concerned about this. In the Master Plan documents, I find it confusing and vague that there are multiple maps that indicate “Community Center” or “Hiawatha Farm”. These terms do not have any solidification at this point and seem arbitrary and vague. Please consider the landowners to the south of the proposed plan in the final proposal. I would like to suggest a height restriction on buildings, the elimination of the multi-family units in that area, and fewer through-traffic areas. Many of the residents in the area use Hiawatha Road as a walking trail for our families and pets, and we would appreciate your consideration of our lifestyles in your decision making.In closing, I understand that Missoula is growing and there are many people who want to call our beautiful valley home, regardless of how I feel about it. However, wildlife conservation is fundamental to Western Montana, and Missoula’s growth should reflect our values. I ask that you consider an option for the area I have addressed that is reasonable, applicable, and sound based in conservation standards and goals.Thank you.

Apryl 3 days ago

Planning this community for less energy intensive travel methods (i.e. biking, walking, and bussing) aligns with the need for Missoula (and all communities) to start moving towards a less energy intensive way of living to mitigate climate change impacts. Connecting this bike friendly neighborhood to downtown would be an important consideration as well to ensure there are alternative transportation options to driving. To adapt to the climate changes we're already seeing, this plan could incorporate native plants in landscaping designs to support pollinators, reduce the need for watering, and minimize mowing. One large concern I have is how the additional housing added though this plan will be kept affordable for Montana workers. Could there be options such as rent controls to keep housing options affordable? The 'cottages' described are an excellent vision for transitioning toward a less consumptive lifestyle that hopefully would allow more, smaller, affordable homes.Another means of creating affordable homes may be to partner with Habitat for Humanity for some of the new homes, especially given their new approaches to reducing the costs of homes long-term, for subsequent owners.A vision for renewable energy was described in one of the meetings, and I would propose a community shared solar option. By developing a larger solar array (or several larger arrays) throughout the community, renters and homeowners in the new development could lease, own, or subscribe to a portion of the energy generated right in their neighborhood. This local generation could help offset the energy consumption of the new development, aligning with the city and county goals of 100% renewable energy.

EGlenn 6 days ago

While I was born in Missoula in '47, we didn't move here until '52. I was fortunate to live here in those early days, and to get to enjoy the slant streets for 40 years. I moved to Flynn Ranch last summer. I could no longer take care of my former home, and found a stand alone home with no steps and an HOA who handles mowing and shoveling, important at my age. I am less than a mile from my son. But my peaceful neighborhood is about to change for the worse. George Elmer will go from the dead-end by my house to a major street. The farm land across from me will become a neighborhood with multiple use housing and buildings more than two stories. That field is and its adjacent trees are currently home to red tailed hawks, geese, and so many other birds, and even fox and coyotes. Why can't we keep some farm land and open space? Why do we have to cater to so much new growth? I am aware that my neighborhood is on former Flynn Ranch farm land. But we are a community with covenants and neighborhood pride, not a hodge podge of buildings. I do not like my native city any more!!

Susan Meadowlark 6 days ago

The survey responses demonstrate what generally happens with public outreach in Missoula. The people who commute by alternative means (biking, walking, transit) turn out while those of us who drive our cars (a huge percentage of the overall population, especially in the Mullan area) are busy trying to commute through vast amounts of Missoula traffic and possibly traveling to Ravalli County to escape the high Missoula housing costs. The idea that this build-out should include a lot of biking and walking is unreasonable. Make the roads so they can handle the terrible traffic congestion. Mullan Road needs to be 4 lanes for a start, and that's before you add further impacts. Once more traffic is entering from Flynn, George Elmer or the proposed Mary Jane extension, Mullan won't be passable from those points to Reserve Street. The idea that we would cram more houses, and therefore more cars, into an already overcrowded system is insane. I agree with the comments from NateP regarding housing types. Stacking condos and townhomes on top of each other doesn't solve the terrible road infrastructure problem. As a person who was born and raised in Missoula, and has lived out Mullan Road for 16 years, I have seen the city deteriorate precipitously over the last 3-4 years with infill housing to try to accommodate a population that just can't "fit" into Missoula. We're slowly killing the special vibe/environment that has always made Missoula special, making it like any other crowded, polluted urban center.

CMK 7 days ago

I would like to see a free campground funded by the city and county located on land near the prison. Within walking distance of the pov and bus station. Will also provide legal authority to prevent encampments at reserve, broadway island and elsewhere.

Independent 9 days ago

I respectfully disagree with the planning. I am sick of seeing our town built up with condo after condo, townhome after townhome, making the city 20% more condensed, populated, and crowded than it should be. If anything, there should be actual houses and neighborhoods where people have the space they need to actually live. Utilizing all these condos and such, stacking the population on top of each other you are making the streets even more congested and the city is at its limits of what it can handle as far as transportation logistics. Please stop building condos and townhomes, and please fix the traffic congestion. Look into a bypass like Kalispell has done.

NateP 9 days ago

First off, the commitment to public input and stakeholder engagement is evident throughout. I was not at the public engagement , but feel like I was after reading the document. My general impressions follow. The value of preserving, protecting, and enhancing the Grant Creek corridor is apparent in the document and is appreciated. I respect the integration of hyper local food and agriculture with new neighborhood development. There is a consistent focus and priority placed on providing shared use trails for bikers and walkers, complete streets, and street trees throughout all of the neighborhoods design. This proclaims “We want people to be able to safely choose biking and walking, and we want slow, safe car traffic!” I love the attention to the “missing middle” of housing choices with bungalow courtyards, townhomes, and the like. Your plan stresses that sustainable building and planning is nonnegotiable. I appreciate the commitment to electric car charging spaces, solar, and green building standards. Your design’s greatest strength is that it is anchored in many different ways. There are intentional neighborhood centers for gathering, the past is honored through historic preservation, farmland and agriculture are respected and preserved, and your design allows for a myriad of community members to live, work, and learn together. I did not see any reference or requirement for diversity of architecture/color/materials for development and this is especially evident in the Hiawatha neighborhood renderings. Another feature of some new developments I appreciate is underground parking for the higher density areas. It is not specifically discussed, but visually and practically makes the streets less crowded. To me, the priority is to build the complete streets, all the shared use trails, set aside the park land/neighborhood squares, set aside land for the school and fire station, protect/acquire the historical sites, and acquire the conservation easements you need for the farms/CSA. This plan discusses the need to safely cross Reserve on a bike/walking but does not touch on it. That also seems very important with such density. Because this appears unresolved, the neighborhood proposed by West Broadway and the new VA would be my first choice for the neighborhoods to be developed.

J2brdie 26 days ago

Regarding the Mullan Master Plan. I strongly encourage that the master plan take into account protections and enhancements for the Grant Creek corridor. Specifically, protecting this riparian zone that is crucial for a wide variety of bird and animal species. As time goes on, more and more wildlife habitat will be lost to development at the long term expense of nature. Preserving these areas along with inevitable development is the right choice now, as once it is lost it will never be recovered. The people of Missoula greatly value our wild creatures and natural environment. Please protect this vital area for wildlife and all future generations of our magnificent valley.

barry65 about 2 months ago

I am writing to comment on the Mullan Area Master Plan, especially in consideration of the habitat that should be maintained and enhanced through the planning process for the development of the area. Of particular concern is the importance of preserving and enhancing the riparian habitats along Grant Creek. The little stretches along Grant Creek are riparian zones, with habitats that are home to a wide range of flora and fauna that meet birds’ survival needs. Successful bird migration and nesting depends on this habitat that provides food, water, shelter, song posts, perching locations and nest sites. Riparian zones provide all of these features and support some of the most abundant and diverse bird communities in the West. On one day in mid-May, we counted 24 species of song birds along Grant Creek, many being Neo-tropical migrants. From the experts at Five Valleys Audubon Socieity: “The Mullan Plan should call for an open-space and riparian buffer area along the entire length of Grant Creek.  It should exist on both sides of the creek channel and, as a minimum, extend 150 feet from either side of the channel.  Toward facilitating consistent management, this space should exist in the form of a no-build common area.  A protected open space of this size would set the stage for a return of native riparian vegetation and reduce the impact of human activity on wildlife using the area.  Serious consideration should also be given to a focused stream rehabilitation effort as a means to increase the pace of the habitat recovery process.  Accomplishing such an undertaking would require an expressed commitment in the plan to acquire the necessary funding.”  Restoring and protecting riparian habitat along Grant Creek is crucial to protecting our natural heritage. Thank you for considering this in the Mullan Area planning.

Cynthia63 about 2 months ago

As a member of the Five Valleys Audubon Society, I am now aware of this Mullan Area Master Plan. As the City and County develop more human spaces, there needs to be a plan for preserving and restoring wildlife habitat. It would appear that this "master plan" has the opportunity to enhance the riparian corridor of Grant creek. this would somewhat offset the loss of open space and important bird habitat. I recommend engaging the experts on habitat enhancement (e.g. Audubon, Clark Fork Coalition, University of Montana) to strike this important balance between human development and preservation of wildlife habitat.

kathy22 about 2 months ago

This area is important bird habitat & needs to be protected. I care very much about preserving our green spaces and dwindling habitats near Missoula- as do many people I know who live here. Please make protecting bird habitat a priority.

gallopingmouse about 2 months ago

At the stakeholder virtual meeting Jason King mentioned that there was a proforma projecting potential development costs for the Mullan Area Master plan area. Could some one please send me a link for that proforma. Thanks, Collin Bangs

Collin99 about 2 months ago

what about transportation into the city core? pollution is becoming a problem and I see you trying to encourage people to bike, but who is going to bike in from Mulan?!? You keep moving affordable housing farther and farther out, but not giving any transportation options into the city. There is no point in moving out there if I can't get to my job. My minimum wage job that has to pay rent AND gas if you don't give me any other options. More and more students move out there and have to commute ALL the way into campus. Nobody who works downtown can afford to live downtown. No one who goes to school can afford to live near campus. THIS is a big part of the smog problem we are developing.

ahbuddha7 about 2 months ago