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The Hellgate Neighborhood, named after a local mountain pass, provides a mixed-use and walkable new neighborhood center to an otherwise sprawling suburban expansion of Missoula, MT. The 120-acre site is mostly built-out with homes and a commercial main street. Urban Design Codes and architectural guidelines accompany the master plan to ensure that quality development is achieved throw a variety of builders and building designers. The goals of the neighborhood, which have been achieved during the past decade of development, include a church, health, and tennis club, assisted living facility, housing authority, tax credit housing, daycare center, parks, and market-rate multifamily and single-family residential, ranging from apartment to large-lot single family.
Community Involvement Process: In preparation for a multi-day community design Charrette, a public workshop was broadly advertised and conducted weeks prior to the event. During the Charrette, in which a significant body of design work was produced, the public was always engaged through individual meetings, focus groups, evening design pinups, and presentations. Public support for the new development was gained through this process of continuous two-way feedback between citizens and professionals. Following the design Charrette, several public workshops were conducted with nearby citizens to receive additional suggestions for refinements to the plan and building design codes.
Sustainable Community: The new neighborhood is designed with ‘skinny street’ standards, has a fine-scaled network of pedestrian-oriented streets, a mix of uses and housing concentrations, and a variety of community parks. These features help reduce impervious surfaces, promote walking instead of driving to daily destinations, and utilize land and resources efficiently.