City of Helena Unanimously Approves Westside Woods!


Parks Board


City Staff


Planning Board


City Commission

The Masterplan

Nestled in the west hills of Helena, residents of the Westside Woods neighborhood will have easy access to acres of parks and miles of trails. They will be within walking distance of two public schools and close to all that nearby historic downtown Helena has to offer. This neighborhood will also feature new & improved trail systems, including art installations by locally-renowned artists throughout its core. Sussex has partnered with land conservationists and artists to create our vision for this beloved landscape with expansive views, open space, and connectivity to the local Mount Helena trail network.  

Westside Woods is proposed on a vacant 59-acre parcel just south of US Highway 12 designated by the City of Helena as an Urban Growth Area. In-filling the existing neighborhood and avoiding the urban sprawl that is depleting our farmlands and water tables, Westside Woods has been carefully designed to enhance the beloved Westside of Helena. This neighborhood will offer a variety of housing with 92 single-family residential lots, 3 multi-family lots with 80 condos, and 5 open-space pocket-park lots (totaling over 13 acres). This will provide various home sizes and prices to cater to mixed income levels.

The Nitty Gritty

Responsible Growth

  • Meets the City of Helena’s Growth Policy
  • Incorporates all City Standards & Subdivision Regulations
  • Helps the housing shortage in Helena
  • No wells or septic systems
  • Less dense than surrounding neighborhoods

City Annexation

  • Paved roads, sidewalks, & gutters
  • Streetlights & fire hydrants
  • City sewer & water
  • Fire protection
  • Improved crosswalks at Kessler School

Variety of Housing

  • Small and large single-family homes
  • More affordable multi-family condos

Trails & Parks

  • Improving & expanding the existing trail system
  • Art Trail featuring installations by local artists
  • 13.5+ acres of parkland and greenspace

Condo Example

Condo Example

Single Family Example

Responsible Growth

Although the land is currently in Lewis and Clark County, Sussex believes it is more responsible, safer, and sustainable to annex Westside Woods into the City of Helena. Development within the city will require Sussex to install services such as water, sewer, streets, curbs and gutters, fire hydrants, street lights, and boulevard sidewalks that meet (and sometimes exceed) city requirements. These upgrades will make the new and surrounding neighborhoods safer and easier for the city to maintain; it will also help boost the city’s tax base and conserve our natural resources by protecting water quality and use.

Additionally, Westside Woods is not designed to maximize the allowable density for the zoning of this land. For comparison, examine Overlook Estates, the last subdivision built in this area, on the northern edge of Westside Woods. Overlook Estates has 190 units on just over 22 acres of land; Westside Woods will have 172 units on nearly 59 acres. This means that Westside Woods is nearly 300% LESS DENSE than Overlook Estates.

Our vision for Westside Woods was born out of respect for the land. The site is challenging due to its topography with steep slopes and several ephemeral drainages that cross through the property. The roads and lots have been laid out to limit cuts and fill as much as possible while meeting all codes, regulations, and laws.

This land inspires us all. We treasure it and want to honor it with responsible development while also meeting our community’s needs. To create our vision for this project, we have partnered with land conservationists, engineers, city staff, and traffic experts to help guide us and protect the beauty of this land for all to enjoy. The densities proposed in this subdivision are compatible with the older, surrounding neighborhood densities. There is a mix of lot sizes to provide more compatibility with the existing land uses adjacent to Westside Woods.

Neighborhood Improvements

Not only will the proposed streets inside Westside Woods meet all City and state standards, but we are improving the streets adjacent to the subdivision with paved roads and boulevard sidewalks to enhance the safety of pedestrians and drivers alike.

City Annexation Benefits:

  • Paved roads, sidewalks, & gutters on neighboring roads.
  • Streetlights & fire hydrants
  • Fire- and weed-mitigated open spaces
  • Improved trails
  • Increased tax base for the city
  • City sewer & water
  • Improved crosswalks and traffic calming devices at Kessler School.
  • Traffic-calming devices added to Granite Avenue e.g. a compact roundabout.

Trails and Open Space

The subdivision is proposed with 13.5+ acres of open spaces that maintain large areas around residential tracts that will protect steeper areas and drainages from being developed. This will preserve and protect the natural aesthetics of this land and also provide recreational opportunities with a new trail system.  

Westside Wood’s is proposing to donate over 13.5+ acres of fire- and weed-mitigated open space to the City of Helena.  We will also build an improved trail system consisting of over a mile of trails within the open space areas that will be graded and compacted much like our trail around Heron Creek.  Sussex will work with the City of Helena and Prickly Pear Land Trust to plan and construct the trails in the open space parcels before donating them to the city.  This will enable public access to the city park and trail systems on Mount Helena so treasured by the community.

All proposed trails will be open to the public for public access.  Pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to utilize the proposed sidewalks and streets to access existing open space to the south of the subdivision and connect to the Mount Helena trail system.

What’s In A Name?

The Streets and Trails

In homage to the arts, we chose to name the streets in Westside Woods after four inspiring local artists. Each will bear the surnames of those who have undertaken careers as locally renowned artists who share an appreciation for the land, space, history, and the world around us. In addition, each of these accomplished artists will create an installation for the future Art Trail. Click the photos below to learn the inspiring stories behind each artist.

Amy Brakeman

Fine Artist

Joe Crowley


Dale Livezey

Fine Artist

Steven Young Lee


3051 Cabernet Dr, Ste 5
Helena, MT 59601

Sussex Neighborhoods:

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