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Big Sky workforce housing lawsuit settled

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Idle pieces of machinery at the Powder Light subdivision are back in action after a prolonged hiatus, laying infrastructure on the preliminary plat. OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO

Michael Somerby EBS Digital Editor

BIG SKY — In a 2-1 decision, county commissioners voted Tuesday to settle a lawsuit with developer A2LD that claimed the county illegally denied development of a housing project off Highway 64 in Big Sky.

In November 2017, development of the Powder Light subdivision near Ace Hardware came to a halt following concerns over an increase in potentially hazardous traffic without ample turning lanes.

The controversial development faced criticism from county commissioners, despite more than 30 letters from Big Sky residents, developers and business owners in favor of the construction to support the burgeoning Big Sky workforce needs.

A 2018 housing study found that 50 percent of Big Sky’s workforce—excluding trade traffic from various construction projects—commutes daily from other Gallatin County communities, and the proposed construction of between 40 and 46 lofts took aim at the housing deficit at the root of that statistic.

“It’s been a long journey, but we’re delighted by the willingness of the county commissioners to work with us to the benefit of everyone,” said Scott Johnson, a partner at A2LD. “And a big acknowledgement and kudos to Congress for approving the TIGER grant last March.”

The TIGER grant in reference awarded Big Sky $10.3 million dollars in federal grant money to improve Highway 64.

A2LD is already underway installing infrastructure to transition from a preliminary plat to a final
plat.

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