Just weeks after giving initial approval, the Missoula City Council is poised to approve the next step in a controversial project that will add hundreds of homes to the Miller Creek neighborhood.

The Riverfront Trails Subdivision is a 176-lot development on 92 acres adjacent to the Bitterroot River in Lower Miller Creek, although city officials have acknowledged the actual total is closer to 280 residences given the amount of multi-family units.

Residents have aired concerns about the project's impact on the already problematic Lower Miller Road, and how the density of the project fits in with the rest of the neighborhood. Some lots will be as small as 3,000 feet.

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However, the city council approved the rezoning in December, and now it looks like the approval is imminent for the first phase of development.

Monday night, the Missoula City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the Final Plat for Phase 1A of the project, which encompasses the infrastructure and development right along Lower Miller Creek Road. That includes a plan to re-align the proposed Lower Miller and Old Bitterroot Road roundabout.

IInitially the city says 10% of the traffic through that roundabout will come from the new development, Initiallybut that will climb to more than one-third of all traffic once the project is built out.

The vote tonight is expected to meet a "deadline" of April 20th. It covers that part of the project that includes what is expected to be a church building adjacent to the roundabout, as well as the public park areas near the river, which are supposed to be finished by the end of next year.

The city council meets this evening in person and online, starting at 6 pm.

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