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Bozeman annexes 80 acres off Baxter Lane

Developers request R-4, R-5 zoning
Posted at 12:10 PM, Mar 30, 2024

BOZEMAN — Bozeman just added some more land to its footprint.

Approximately 80 acres of land off of Baxter Lane were recently annexed. The area is now part of the city and is zoned for dense residential development.

At a Bozeman City commission meeting on March 26th, commissioners approved the annexation of the “Baxter 80” development, 81.5 acres between Baxter Lane and West Oak.

The developers requested R-4 and R-5 zoning, which means dense residential development.

City Commissioner Jennifer Magdic voted 'no.'

“I really wish that we would get to a type of zoning that allows for us to approve site plans so we have a better idea of the outcome of the development, it adds more predictability," Madic says. "And I'd like to see our city kind of steer in that direction.”

Madgic said she is concerned with what she calls the unpredictability that comes with approving high-density development. She says by approving R-5 zoning, 5 to 6 story apartment buildings can be built in the area.

This concerns locals as well. Residents surrounding the Baxter 80 sent 38 letters of protest to the City of Bozeman.

One came from Kenneth Silvestri, who spoke at the meeting.

Silvestri argued, “an r4 and r5 highest zoning designation for the Baxter 80 property would not provide incremental, thoughtful, and appropriate density next to our existing zoned r1 r3 neighborhood”

A message Deputy Mayor Joey Morrison took into consideration, but still voted yes.

Over the phone Morrison told me he was on the edge but ended up voting yes due to the need for housing in Bozeman.

Although Madgic understands Bozeman needs housing, she says she has seen these zoning issues before.

“I think we need to be careful that we’re not creating places in town that segregate housing type.”