May 19, 2024

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This past spring, two majestic old homes on the historic Northside Slant Street District went on the market. The two impressive houses, sitting on large adjacent lots, were twins built by the same builder nearly a hundred years ago. The two sisters were unusual in that they were larger homes on larger lots than the typical single story working class homes in the Railroad District.
One, being sold because of the owner’s deteriorating health, was bought by a family who were chosen because they pledged to maintain the property as the previous owner had.
The second home went to a not-so-discerning buyer unconcerned with the historic value of the home or the district in which it is located. The apparent intent of the new owner is to level the existing substantial two story home — still in exceptional condition having been lovingly maintained — and build a multiple story apartment building with a dozen or more units.
This careless development will occur on a narrow one way street, whose only other access will be an even narrower gravel alley way. Somehow, existing zoning allows for the consideration of this travesty, but that doesn’t make it right.
James Wood,
Missoula

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