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The Bitterroot Resort will officially begin its subdivision review process with Missoula County next week, but lots have already been sold in two previously approved subdivisions that are part of Tom Maclay’s overall plan for the resort development. The Bitterroot Resort is being proposed on the Maclay Ranch at the base of Carlton Ridge and Lolo Peak just north of Florence. Ten lots between the two subdivisions have been sold and six homes built. One of these homes is Malcay's house, which he opened up to the public last week as part of the Bitterroot Builders' Association's tour of homes. The subdivisions are conceptually part of the Bitterroot Resort plan, though officially they’re separate developments, Maclay said Wednesday.

Bitterroot Resort Developer Selling Lots

The Bitterroot Resort will officially begin its subdivision review process with Missoula County next week, but lots have already been sold in two previously approved subdivisions that are part of Tom Maclay’s overall plan for the resort development.

The Bitterroot Resort is being proposed on the Maclay Ranch at the base of Carlton Ridge and Lolo Peak just north of Florence. Ten lots between the two subdivisions have been sold and six homes built. One of these homes is Malcay’s house, which he opened up to the public last week as part of the Bitterroot Builders’ Association’s tour of homes.

The subdivisions are conceptually part of the Bitterroot Resort plan, though officially they’re separate developments, Maclay said Wednesday.

“The subdivisions that we did on the north and south edges of the ranch are ones that integrate into the big picture,” he said. “We have several lots that we developed and then taken care, in such a way, that everything fits together.”

A handful of lots remain to be sold in the subdivisions, he said. Those lots are two to four acres in size with a half-acre of buildable space, Maclay said. The lots also have about 14 acres of common open space and start at about $500,000, he said.

The six homes already built are in addition to the four homes or cabins already part of the Maclay ranch, he said.

The two subdivisions were designed and approved about five years ago with the hope of developing a resort sometime in the future, Maclay said.

“Through these years 10 lots have been sold that fit very well into the long-term plan (for the Bitterroot Resort) and now we’ve finalized the interior portions of that plan,” he said. “The subdivisions that we did on the north and south edges of the ranch are ones that integrate into the big picture.”

Next week, the Bitterroot Resort will have a pre-application meeting with the Missoula County Office of Planning and Grants, said planner Tim Worley, who will be meeting with Maclay and the Bitterroot Resort team.

The pre-application meeting is the first official step in the subdivision application process, Worley said. The length of time it takes for a development to go through the entire process varies widely.

“But with something this big you’d expect it to take months,” Worley said.

Maclay said last week he anticipates 2,400 dwelling units total at the resort and about 10 percent of those would be single-family homes. The majority of the remaining dwelling units would be condominium and townhouse style.

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4 comments

  1. and so these $500,000 lots are supposed to be home ranging in size of 1,600 to 3,200 feet in size? according to Tom Maclay’s ‘master plan’?

    (Note: for those that didn’t read the previous article, Tom has said that of the 10% of the dwellings that are part of his 2,400 proposed dwelling units, most of the units would range in that 16 hundred to 32 hundred square feet in size – then he went and built himself a typical resort home to show off to prospective buyers, that is 5,500 square feet in size)

    Now we’re supposed to believe that there will be 240 lots, 2 to 4 acres, 1,600 to 3,200 square feet in size? Yeah, right. Tell us that lower square footage to have some of us believing there won’t be a hillside of McMansions up there increasing the property taxes of Lolo.

    And then that leaves 2,160 dwelling units to be built in condo-townhouse style, resulting in somewhere between 430 to 270 structures (5 to 8 units per structure), plus all the additional commercial structures, lodge, and parking area that will be needed for this lovely resort. Beautiful.

    How many valley residents can afford a $500,000 lot?

    Maclay’s plan means crap for this valley. Nothing but service industry (translate: minimum wage) jobs. All driving down the road to get to work. Lovely, Lovely, Lovely.

    And the trophy homes of out-of-staters.

  2. County commissioners raise property taxes.

    Let the property taxes on the resort go through the roof and the out of state people fund new or improved schools in Lolo and Florence!

    If planning is done right, Lolo and Florence property taxes can be held in check. With the state Lolo is in, I don’t think there’s going to be any $500K lots sold there. Below the slopes, yes, but not behind the Hayloft.

  3. County Commissioners set the property tax RATE. Property values set the property tax on an individual property. An individuals property value is influenced by the property values of surrounding properties.

    Maclay himself said that his lots START AT “around” $500,000. He’s already sold 10 lots…

    No subdivision puts enough tax revenue into the pot to support its own infrastructure. Eventually, the costs exceed the tax income. That is a fact.

    That fact is exhibited by the City of Missoula as a prime example. The City has undergone a huge amount of annexation, some say due to an effort to increase the tax revenues – yet still the taxes in the City of Missoula will increase by 4% this year. So while a whole bunch of annexations increased the tax base, with presumably new, low-if-any-maintenance-needed infrastructure paid for by the developer. Those new taxes from those new subdivisions should be, in theory, subsidizing the infrastructure over the rest of the city, right? yet taxes will increase in the City of Missoula by 4% for 2007.

    And plenty of people owning property in the University district can tell you, from experience, that their property tax rate has increased even if they live in a rinky-dinky 1923-constructed house. Are you telling me that the neighbors selling $850,000 homes isn’t influencing tax bills?

    Even further, and perhaps more infuriating to some, is the fact that those tax dollars actually SUBSIDIZE development of those subdivisions, both in the City and in the County. The administrative cost of a subdivision approval WELL exceeds the cost of the application fee. Who pays for the city review? Turning the lights on, the computers, the paper, the office space, the legal notices? Tax dollars.

    Then, on top of it, there’s the buidling permits (which now are required by both the city and the county….Does the cost of the permits and the impact fee (for the city) cover the cost of the inspectors, adminstrative staff, paperwork, computers, etc.? No.

    The development community is getting a free ride on the tax check of plenty of people in the community who would rather see them pay their way.

    And as for “If planning is done right..property taxes can be held in check”…it hasn’t happened anywhere else in the County, why would it start with Lolo and Florence?

    REality.

  4. Thanks for the comment Cathie,

    I live in Florence and in Ravalli county, there is property tax relief. With the great increase in property value over the last couple of years, I’ve seen first hand discounted property taxes based on Tax brackets. Even with this relief, my taxes have gone up a lot and adding the resort, I believe, isn’t going to cause them to go up at a faster rate than they already are.

    Regarding the University district, you’ve made a great point. I agree, the University district is a highly desirable place to live and costs of homes are very high. Go 10 blocks over to Miller Creek. You can get a home with 2000 more square feet and a lot twice the size for less. Go to Frenchtown, you’ll get 5 acres. Location is everything.

    With that said, you’ll have the same scenario in Lolo. Prices of homes there will not increase to the value of homes at the resort.

    Nobody can give us an answer on how we can stop property valuation from going up. The populations in Missoula and Ravalli counties will continue grow and hence, so will the cost of property. Look at Bozeman.

    In your first comment, you attack McKlay and out of staters. In you second comment, you attack local government and all development. I’m not sure what’s next. How do you plan on eliminating change and closing the doors on Montana?

    On a different note, I totally agree with you regarding your outrage over developers getting subsidized. However, I’m not sure what we should have them do. Money for schools, roads, etc.. Maybe.

    On the other hand, the income developers provide to the local economy (plumbers, electricians, carpenters, engineers, landscapers, framers, architects, etc..) is a good thing.

    Thanks again,