July 8-9, 1999

ITEM 104-2003-R0799 Authorization Approving Street Easement to Extend South 11th Avenue; Montana State University - Bozeman

THAT: Consistent with Regent's Policy, Section 1003.6.IV, the Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes MSU-Bozeman to execute all documents necessary to grant an easement to the City of Bozeman to accommodate the extension of S. 11th Ave.

EXPLANATION: 1. The City of Bozeman is rapidly expanding in the area immediately adjacent to the west of the MSU-Bozeman Football Stadium. New development, currently under construction in this area, demands the immediate extension of S. 11th Ave, to the south of Kagy Blvd. This extension requires a street easement along the western boundary of the MSU property at the stadium.

2. MSU-Bozeman will receive significant benefits from the street extension. Several of the major benefits are as follows:

1. Consistent with our campus master planning efforts, the Kagy Blvd/11th Ave intersection is now the main regional vehicular entry to the campus. The university has invested in a significant amount of site improvements, including site work, landscaping, irrigation, signage, lighting, and parking improvements, in order to make the main campus entry point visually pleasing and easy to negotiate. It is imperative that future development in this area enhances the visual image and ease of use, rather then detracting from these critical aspects. If MSU does not grant the requested street easement, the City may be forced to construct the street approximately 33 feet to the west of its proper alignment, causing a severely misaligned intersection with its attendant safety problems and visual confusion - right at MSU's front door.

2. MSU wishes to avoid forcing the City to exercise its power of eminent domain. If the easement is not granted, and the City chooses not to construct the street 33 feet to the west as noted above, their only other option would be to condemn the land needed for the street extension. MSU prefers to maintain its cordial working relationship with the City and the community and to avoid the potential for an adversarial condemnation proceeding.

3. MSU's interest in, and expected benefit from, extending S. 11th Ave has been publicly stated in the past and was a factor in negotiating the abandonment and closure of 3 blocks of Cleveland Street and 4 blocks of 7th Ave that previously ran through campus. Both abandonment ordinances recorded MSU's desire and agreement to waive the right-to-protest an SID for the cost of constructing the extension for S. 11th Ave (which is pertinent to this easement approval request).

4. The extension of S.11th Ave will provide more formal, paved access to the booster parking areas on the west side of the stadium which is consistent with the recently constructed sky boxes and booster areas in the new stadium.

5. The extension of S. 11th Ave will provide significantly improved pedestrian safety and traffic control for stadium events.

6. The extension of S. 11th Ave will hasten the future completion of access to the Powerhouse Technologies (private-sector business) site to the south of MSU property, which will allow MSU to terminate its access agreement with Powerhouse for the use of our MSU-owned, non-standard and poorly maintained, S 7th Ave, near the Museum of the Rockies.