280-acre Belgrade development could add another 4,000 residents

An aerial view of the Prescott Development in Belgrade.JPG

It may not look like much now, but in a matter of decades the 280-acre Prescott Development in the northwestern part of Belgrade has the potential of bringing big changes to the city.

According to city officials, who estimate a 20-year build-out, the development could contain up to 4,000 people when it’s all said and done.

Belgrade Planning Director Jason Karp told NBC Montana the field was annexed into the city in 2000 but wasn't taken up by developers until recently, after the recession.

"It just ties with the growth that's going on in Bozeman and Gallatin County," said Karp. "Belgrade's attractive because we have the water and sewer to offer, and projects this size need municipal water and sewer services."

Currently, the first subdivision called Story Creek is in its first phase. Another two subdivisions will fill the space for a total of three.

The city says each developer has agreed to build sidewalks. They will also share a $2 million cost for a sewer lift with the city and participate in traffic impact studies.

Some nearby residents like Nikki Dayton are worried about other things besides traffic and sewer.

"Higher property values mean this property's more valuable, which means my rent goes up, which is always fun," Dayton said. "But you know it's the case already in Bozeman, so it's about time it becomes the case here.”

Yet Karp says this is just the natural ebb and flow of things.

"We're booming right now, but history has shown that these booms don't last forever," he said.

The next two subdivisions are still under review by the planning board. They invite the public to attend their next public hearing on July 10 at Belgrade's City Hall.

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