Billings City Council approves Elks Lodge zoning to make way for apartments

BILLINGS — Billings City Council approved a rezoning of the Elks Lodge property at 394 Lewis Ave to make way for 200 possible new apartment and townhouse residences at its Monday night meeting.

The eight-acre Elks Lodge property was changed from all commercial zoning to a mix of commercial and neighborhood zones, which would allow for the addition of residential accommodation.

MTN News / Mitch Lagge

Billings City Council is meeting at the Billings Public Library for its February 28 meeting to discuss the zoning of Elks Lodge.

The space bordering West Ninth Street has been zoned NX1, allowing for single-family to four-family dwellings with a maximum building height of 2.5 stories or 27 feet. While the south side of the property was zoned NX3, which requires the construction of dwellings of five or more.

The land where the Elks tennis center is currently located has been kept in a commercial zone.

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MTN News / Mitch Lagge

The Elks Tennis Center in Billings.

Utah-based Thrive Development is the only entity interested in the Elks Lodge property since it went up for sale two years ago. Representatives from Thrive said they intend to keep the tennis courts intact for use by the community and potential new residents.

The council voted 10 to 1 in favor of the zone change, with Ward 2 council member Roy Neese being the only no. Council members Kendra Shaw, Ed Gulick, Jennifer Owen, Danny Choriki, Denise Joy, Pam Purinton, Daniel Tidswell, Mike Boyett, Tom Rupsis and Mayor Bill Cole all voted in favor.

The zone change will go through a second reading in the upcoming Council on March 14, where the change will then be finalised.

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