MISSOULA, Mont. -

Landowners involved in litigation with Missoula County over a stalled, decades-old subdivision, have taken a step in a new direction. As an alternative to home sites, there's movement to keep Glen Eagle in open space.

The Grant Creek land never had sufficient infrastructure, and has been bogged down with bankruptcy and other litigation.

Several lot owners met with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Five Valleys Land Trust Friday. The meeting was a brainstorming session.

Lot owner Mark Denton said the county failed to honor an agreement to install infrastructure on land that it deeded to him 20 years ago. He has a lawsuit pending.

"We thought if we could get together as a collective group," said Denton, "that we can possibly put this property of about 300 acres into open space, and present that to the county as a great alternative to a lawsuit."

Denton said if an arrangement can be made to keep the land open space, it would benefit the entire community and a growing Grant Creek elk herd.

We contacted Missoula County Chief Administrative Officer Dale Bickell. He said that even though there is not a proposal available yet, the county is interested in getting the issue settled. Bickell said the county has looked at providing a mechanism to find infrastructure for Glen Eagle, but it is willing to look seriously at an alternative proposal.