Etha v 5 West

The armory hotel project, right, rises above 5 West, left, Friday in Bozeman.

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The downtown armory hotel project is again going before city officials at the first virtual Bozeman City Commission meeting, this time to hear appeals to the approvals granted earlier by city planners.

One of the appeals was filed by the Home Base Partners residential condominium board at 5 West, a neighboring building to the hotel project. Home Base Partners is also building a hotel nearby. The appeal from the condominium board asks the commission to overrule the earlier approval of the placement of mechanical units on the rooftop of the armory and the positioning of exterior lights.

“I feel like my property value values are being diminished,” said Cyd Cimmiyotti, a condominium board member and real estate agent who lives at 5 West. “If the city is going to allow this to happen, what else is going to happen in Bozeman?”

Cimmiyotti said she and the board don’t feel the public has had adequate time to comment about the city’s approval of the plans. She also said she’s concerned about noise from the hotel.

“I’m just so disappointed and devastated with the city and the developers,” Cimmiyotti said.

The city and the developers of the hotel butted heads often over the project, most notably earlier this year when the city was unsure if the project would be able to continue because of the discrepancy between a planning department permit and a building department permit.

Cory Lawrence, the project’s developer, said he is not particularly concerned by the condominium board’s appeal, which he said was an attack from a “potential competitor.”

“That (rooftop) equipment is central to the adaptive reuse of the historic armory,” Lawrence said. “The lighting is all code compliant.”

Lawrence filed his own appeal against a city mandate that parts of the building have a metal rain screen installed over part of the exterior.

“It’s a major public safety concern that has us requesting that particular condition be removed,” said Lawrence.

He worries that the large metal rain screens won’t be properly installed through the exterior material and could run the risk of falling from the nine-story building — nearly 110 feet tall.

He’s also concerned installation of those metal screens could puncture the exterior finish of the building and potentially cause rainwater to get into the walls and cause future issues.

“There’s no one that would say, oh sure, I’ll go up there and drill several hundred holes, it could be thousands of holes, and guarantee that they will be properly anchored in a safe way,” Lawrence said. “Our request of the commission is to recognize the facts and circumstances and remove that condition.”

The appeals will be considered by the Bozeman City Commission during a virtual meeting Monday evening. The meeting will be held over Webex, a video conference system. Written comments on agenda items like the Etha/Armory hotel can be sent to agenda@bozeman.net. The link to the Webex conference system can be found on Bozeman city website’s city commission agenda page.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

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