Valley West is located in West Bozeman and was one of the first master-planned communities in the area. The original Valley West community is located 3 miles west of downtown Bozeman and is bounded to the north by Durston Road, to the east by Ferguson Avenue, to the south by Babcock Street, and to the west by Cottonwood Road. (Within these bounds, Valley West does not include the BronzeLeaf Condominiums in the northwest corner nor the campus of Heritage Christian School.)
Valley West centers around a large parkway called Valley West Park (Meyers Park), which is located east of Clifden Drive and extends from Durston Road to Babcock Street and is now a public city park. Valley West Park includes Meyers Lake, pavilions, a playground, walking trails, covered walking bridges, and even a beach volleyball court. The exemplary design of the park was recognized by the 2007 Award of Excellence for Community Park Design from the Bozeman Beautification Advisory Board. In addition, the park structures received a 2008 AIA Montana Honor Award. Throughout the community, Valley West boasts extensive walking trails through open spaces that have been enhanced by thoughtful tree planting.
Valley West was designed by Prugh & Lenon Architects and Intrinsik Architecture and engineered by Morrison-Maierle. The first homes were built in 2002. Valley West (and The Lakes) were developed through the Bozeman process for Planned Unit Developments, which allowed for creative use of space, including more compact housing configurations and abundant open space. Architectural features include the use of traffic-calming measures and rear-loading alleys, allowing for generous porches, front yards, and pedestrian-friendly sidewalks.
The Valley West community includes condominiums, duplexes, row houses, and small and large single-family homes, some with accessory dwelling units. By intention, design requirements have allowed for a range of architectural styles, providing housing options for everyone from young families to retirees. Valley West was recognized by the Sonoran Institute for Best Practice in Community Design and also highlighted in the book Rural by Design (2015; Arendt).
The Lakes is the newest addition to the Valley West community. The Lakes is located south of Durston Road and north of Vaughn Drive, from Westgate Avenue to Westmorland Drive. The Lakes was developed by Kilday & Stratton, with the first homes completed in 2016. Residences include single family homes (some with ADUs) and duplexes. Homeowners in Valley West and The Lakes are members of the shared Valley West Homeowners Association, which includes more than 800 units.
At the center of The Lakes community are two lakes totaling 12 acres, where stand-up paddleboards and children with fishing lines can be seen throughout the summer. The East Lake, two pavilions, a playground, and adjacent grounds are now a Bozeman city park. Walking trails encircle the two lakes, and shared use paths wind through open spaces on the perimeter of the community. On the east side of The Lakes, trails lead into the large Baxter Creek wetlands park with its walking paths and boardwalks, which was originally developed as part of Valley West and is now a city park.
Many homes in The Lakes are clustered around shared open spaces with sidewalks, where children ride bicycles, dogs walk their humans, and neighbors chat through the evening. Woonerfs (narrow, pedestrian-friendly streets) were incorporated as a progressive urban form to create a village feel and preserve land for open space. All aspects of the community design foster a sense of community and high quality of life.
In the surrounding area, Meadowlark Elementary School and Gallatin High School lie just to the north of Valley West within easy walking distance. Two private schools (Heritage Christian and Petra Academy), two churches, the Adam Bronken soccer complex, and Gallatin County Regional Park are in close proximity, as well as many restaurants and businesses south of Babcock Street. Residents of Valley West and The Lakes enjoy a master-planned community, park-like surroundings, and close proximity to all that Bozeman has to offer.