Water Wheel Trails is a 38-lot subdivision nestled in the charming Orchard Homes neighborhood on the western edge of Missoula just northwest of Hiberta and Third Street. The development sits adjacent to City parkland along the Clark Fork River providing a rural country feel with the convenience of proximity to Missoula City services. The subdivision is an excellent addition to Missoula providing new middle-income housing opportunities, which are in short supply.
The property previously received approval under a different name by a different firm but remained undeveloped as uncared-for bare land for nearly a decade. In 2014 Territorial-Landworks teamed with Beauchamp Construction and Mountain Construction to revive the previously approved project and move it towards completion as a beautiful new residential community addition to the City of Missoula.
The development was not short on challenges. The City Council had originally approved the project with unnecessarily strict floodplain requirements for road and home construction requiring unrealistic amounts of import material to raise the site. Further, some of the approved lots were nearly impossible to build on with very small buildable areas.
In collaboration with the developer, TLI prepared and received several amendments to the original approval including reducing the floodplain restrictions to be in closer alignment with FEMA requirements and therefore providing significant savings on the amount of import fill material needed. TLI also received City approval to move property lines to enlarge some of the tiny lots to make them buildable. TLI also assisted with two different negotiations with neighboring landowners that removed easement encumbrances that had otherwise made one approved lot non-buildable. The second negotiation was to complete a boundary line relocation with a neighbor allowing four of the lots to become large enough to be buildable instead of aggregating them to three lots.
In addition to these more significant challenges, TLI also provided design and construction services including water main extension, sewer main extension, storm drainage, dry utilities, roads, parking areas, sidewalks, curbs & gutters, landscaping, and mass grading. TLI coordinated with the City of Missoula Development Services, the City of Missoula Engineering, City of Missoula Parks and Recreation, Mountain Water Company, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality public water supply division, the Montana Department of Environmental Qualify SWPPP division, the Missoula Irrigation District, and Northwestern Energy for reviews and permitting approvals.
TLI also assisted the client with the bidding process, contract document specifications, final platting, construction staking, construction administration for inspections and oversight as well as all inspection certifications.
Phase I of the project was completed in 2016. Phase II of the development is in the works currently, and construction will move forward upon approval for 12 additional lots for single family homes.