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Corporation sues Great Falls over Wheat Ridge Estates

The corporate owner of more than 200 acres of land in Cascade County is suing the City of Great Falls.

The KYSO Corporation owns land near the eastside Walmart and Malmstrom Air Force Base.

In 2017, the owner submitted an annexation and zoning application for Wheat Ridge Estates, a proposed development of residential lots.

The city denied the application last month stating the proposal conflicted with the Joint Land Use Study, which is used to reduce conflicts with military installations while still accommodating economic development and growth.

The city said staff also found issues with water runoff and emergency access to the area.

In the lawsuit, the owner claims it was unconstitutional for the city commissioners to deny the application.

(March 6, 2019) On Tuesday evening, the Great Falls City Commission denied annexation of the nearly 22-acre proposal for Wheat Ridge Estates.

The 40-lot residential development was proposed for an area near the east side Walmart at the southern end of 57th Street South.

City staff recommended denial of the annexation due to concerns with water runoff, emergency access and response times as well as encroachment on Malmstrom Air Force Base.

The concerns echoed issues raised last September when the original motion for annexation was tabled.

A vast majority of public comment Tuesday night was against the annexation mostly because of potential impacts to Malmstrom and its future.

Commissioners expressed their hesitation to oppose the development because of the outstanding reputation of the developer, but at this time too many issues remain unresolved.

The commission voted unanimously to deny the annexation, but Mayor Bob Kelly said he made his decision knowing “there will be opportunities in the future to bring this project forward again.”

Margaret DeMarco

Margaret DeMarco

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