Community Development and Planning Contact Information

Community Development and Planning Department
Room 230, City/County Building
316 N. Park Ave., Helena, MT 59623

Department Phone: (406) 447-8374  
Department Email: Email

Hours: 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Monday-Friday

Zoning

Community Development and Planning

Frequently Asked Questions

ABZ's of Zoning (PDF)

  • Zoning exists throughout the United States. In Montana, Counties often have two types of Zoning, Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1 is referred to as “citizen-initiated zoning,” while Part 2 is referred to as “County-initiated zoning.” Nearby Counties with Part 2 Zoning include Cascade, Powell, Jefferson, Missoula and Gallatin, among others.

    Zoning can take on many different looks, including:

    Traditional (or Euclidean): Focuses on the type of use allowed on the land, such as residential, multi-family, commercial and industrial. In Montana, Traditional Zoning is most common.

    Form Based: Focuses on building form as it relates to streetscape and adjacent uses. For example, in a largely suburban single-family residential area, offices, retail or even light industrial use could allowed as long as it conformed (setback, building size, lot coverage, height, etc.) to existing development in the area.

    Mixed Use: Provides for enhanced flexibility where the landowner has the right to choose a variety of specific uses, such as commercial, industrial, institutional, parks, residential, etc. However, an individual property can also be limited to particular uses.

    Performance Based: Based on measurable performance standards that regulate the design and location of a use based on the characteristic of a particular site to support development. For example, wetlands, floodplains or steep slopes may be protected from development on a piece of property, while residential development may be allowed on other parts of the same property.

     

     

  • What is the purpose of Zoning?

    Different States often define Zoning differently. Even within Montana, the approach taken by Counties with Part 2 Zoning is not completely similar. However, the generally agreed upon purpose of Zoning is to address issues such as public health, safety and general welfare.

    On another level, Zoning is a tool to implement the strategy set forth in the Lewis and Clark County Growth Policy (https://www.lccountymt.gov/cdp/county-growth-policy.html) that specifically calls out the need to focus on five key issues: water, wastewater, roads, fire protection and flooding.

    Possibly, the most important aspect of Zoning is to protect, enhance and stabilize property values. For example, Zoning can ensure a mix of uses such as hog farms, cement batch plants, heavy industrial rail yards, residential neighborhoods, medical marijuana facilities and daycare centers are not built adjacent to or in close proximity to each other. Zoning can also be very effective at protecting both the existing “character” of a community as well as the area’s natural resources such as water.

  • Will zoning increase my property taxes?

    Property taxes are usually based on land value. Typically, land value comes from its use rather than Zoning classification. For example, land used commercially is generally higher value than land used residentially. In a commercially zoned area, a supermarket center would most likely have higher property taxes than a mini-storage facility with the same Zoning. Likewise, in a residential zone district, an area of single-family homes might have higher property taxes than an area of multi-family condominiums.

    Typically, Zoning affects compatibility and neighborhood character. When Zoning effectively protects area compatibility, property values may be enhanced through resultant higher priced property sales. As property values increase, property taxes may increase. In short, the value of a property directly affects property taxes.

     

  • How will zoning affect my property values?

    Zoning tends to stabilize property values, meaning it protects against values going down as much as they may increase. Zoning discourages incompatible uses of land from locating next to one another (hog farm next to residential homes). It is common to see property values increase with development regulations, rather than the misperception they decrease. Some of the highest valued areas in the United States have strong Zoning regulations.  

    In Montana, there are many examples where higher levels of Zoning and development regulation enhanced and stabilized property values. While both the towns of Red Lodge and Bear Creek are next door to one another, Red Lodge has much higher property values and many more layers of development oversight through Zoning. Another example is Big Sky, where property values are protected because Zoning prevents incompatible uses.  

  • Is Zoning Restrictive or Protective?

    This largely depends on individual perspective. A low-density residential zone district on a quiet, mostly untraveled road in an area made up primarily of single-family homes would most likely view residential Zoning as protective. The residential Zoning could be used against a proposal for an asphalt batch plant (with very bright lights and strong odors), next to homes.

    On the other side, the owner of the proposed batch plant might view residential Zoning as restrictive. However, appropriate Zoning could serve to protect the asphalt batch plant owner and their investment from being harmed by future residential development next to the plant. Often, when this scenario occurs, the new homeowners seek to eliminate the adjacent use they may find incompatible. This scenario has played out in Montana using Part 1 Zoning.

  • What if I want to develop my property differently from the way it is zoned?

    Property owners always have the right to ask the County to change the Zoning of a particular parcel. This is called “Rezoning.” The property owner would file an application to rezone the property to a particular zone district that would allow the desired use. Typically, the process to rezone land is similar to the process to initially zone the land. Staff would study the impacts of the proposed rezoning to the area along with its relation to the Growth Policy, and then a public hearing would likely be required. At the hearing and as part of the fact finding process for the County Commissioners, citizens would have the ability to speak on behalf of, or in opposition to, the rezoning.

  • How would existing Part-1 Zoning be affected by County-Initiated Part-2 Zoning?

    County-initiated Part-2 Zoning would be a layer of Zoning in addition to existing Part-1 Zoning. Both layers would usually apply unless a conflict existed, in which case the more restrictive regulation would apply. 

    As an example of how a conflict could be handled, let’s look at “Clustering”. The concept of clustering focuses more on the total number of lots allowed on a parcel, as opposed to the minimum lot size of each lot. 

    For instance, let’s say existing Part-1 Zoning sets the minimum lot size at 10 acres and the Part-2 Zoning allows for a much smaller minimum lot size, but with a 10-acre density (as opposed to minimum lot size.) As described above, the Part-1 Zoning would be more restrictive and therefore all lots would need to be at least 10 acres in size. 

    The graph below represents the Part-1 scenario where every lot must be at least 10 acres in size. If your land is 100 acres, you may divide it into a maximum of 10 lots with each lot being 10 acres in size.  

     

    However, in clustering the lots, Zoning would be density-focused, as opposed to minimum lot size. 

    Each lot may be a different size and need not be at least 10 acres. This density approach creates more options and can be more environmentally sensitive by allowing avoidance of certain areas like floodplains or wetlands. The clustered density approach can be much more cost effective by allowing the amount of infrastructure reduced to the actual area of buildable lots. Additionally, the minimum lot size may be determined by environmental factors as regulated by the State Department of Environmental Quality.  

    The next graphic represents how your project might look if your lots were clustered.

     

     

     

  • What happens to the County Zoning classification if my land is annexed by a City?

    When land is annexed by a City, the County Zoning is nullified and the land is zoned according to the City's zoning ordinance. 

  • Are there other land-use tools available to protect my property values?

    Yes, in addition to Zoning, Lewis & Clark County has several "tools" in its Growth Management Toolbox. Some examples include Subdivision Regulations, Floodplain Regulations, and Roadway Standards. These are to ensure development is done in an environmentally sensitive manner while also protecting the quality of life in an area.

    Unlike Zoning, these tools do not allow the County to be fully sensitive to our Citizen’s desires for particular development patterns in the County. Our Citizens have spoken clearly as to their expectations and desires as set forth in the County Growth Policy. By far, the best tool to effectively implement the County Growth Policy (especially the Helena Valley Area Plan) is a comprehensive, County-Initiated Part -2 Zoning program throughout the Helena Valley. 

  • Would the County Zoning control the minimum size or price of houses?

    No. The County’s zoning regulations would not contain any reference to the size or price of houses. 

  • Would the County Zoning allow me to operate a business out of my house?

    Commonly referred to as Home Occupations, most zoning regulations allow for this type of land use.  Home occupations need to be clearly incidental to, and not alter, the character of the residential area for the primary use. It is common for a zoning code to allow for several different levels or types of home occupations.  Some common benefits of home occupations are reduced vehicle trips traveled per day and less traffic congestion, especially during peak demand times.  

  • What is a setback?

    A setback is the minimum distance structures on a parcel of land must be from any property line on that land. Setbacks prevent structures from crowding too close together and create a buffer between neighbors. Setbacks also prevent the encroachment of similar or incompatible uses upon one another. Typically, different types of zoning districts would have different setbacks depending upon the purpose of the district.

  • Does Zoning affect lot size?

    As the minimum setback between buildings varies from one zoning district to another, the minimum size of individual lots may also be affected. A common belief is that minimum lot size helps protect property values in a subdivision by ensuring that the lots will have similar characteristics. However, a minimum lot size does not necessarily affect the overall density of proposed developments within a given zone district.   

  • How many Counties in Montana have Part-2 (County Initiated) Zoning?


    At last count, there were 14 Counties with Zoning. Of the 14 Counties with County-Initiated Zoning, two are the Consolidated Governments of Butte-Silver Bow and Anaconda-Deer Lodge. The other 12 zoned Counties are: Cascade, Chouteau, Daniels, Flathead, Gallatin, Granite, Jefferson, Lake, Missoula, Park, Powell, and Yellowstone. With 25% of the State Counties zoned, it is clear that County-Initiated Zoning is neither a new, nor an unconstitutional concept within the State of Montana.
    When people ask why they should not feel uncomfortable with county Zoning, the most common answers are that Zoning is not new and that it serves to protect, enhance and stabilize property values. In areas without zoning, a common and regular source of concern is the impacts associated with land development such as the five key issues identified in the 2015 Helena Valley Growth Policy: roads, water, wastewater, fire, and floods. Additional concerns include the unregulated mix of uses within a given area. The citizens of the County have voiced their concerns that these sorts of impacts are simply not acceptable, at times even offensive, and potentially hazardous.

Community Development and Planning

Part 2 Zoning in the Helena Valley Planning Area

UPDATE:

On October 6, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a Resolution of Intent (Resolution No. 2020-84) to create both zoning districts and regulations for the Helena Valley Planning Area. 

NOTICE OF PASSAGE OF RESOLUTION OF INTENTION TO CREATE THE

HELENA VALLEY PLANNING AREA ZONING MAP AND REGULATIONS

The Lewis and Clark County Commission adopted a Resolution of Intention to create the Helena Valley Planning Area (HVPA) Zoning Regulations and Map which includes Regulations and boundaries for a Rural Residential Mixed-Use District (RR), boundaries for a Suburban Residential Mixed-Use District (SR), and boundaries for an Urban Residential Mixed-Use District (UR). The HVPA consists of approximately 380 square miles.  You can access the Resolution here.

The HVPA is located in the southern part of Lewis and Clark County and is generally bounded by the North Hills on the north, the Missouri River, Hauser Lake, and Spokane Hills on the east, the Lewis and Clark County boundary with Jefferson and Broadwater Counties on the south, and the Continental Divide on the west. It does not include lands within the city limits of Helena and East Helena. As shown on the map it provides a depiction of the HVPA and draft zoning districts. An interactive GIS map is available here and additional description information is available by contacting the Planning Office.

The purpose of the draft zoning regulations is to promote the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the community. The draft zoning regulations and map shall govern, but are not necessarily limited to, such issues as the height and size of buildings and structures, the size of yards and open space, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures, and land for trade, industry, residence, or other purposes consistent with the policy recommendations of the Lewis and Clark County Growth Policy and its complimentary 2015 Helena Valley Area Plan.

Persons owning real property within the boundaries of these districts may submit written protest regarding the passage of the Resolution of Intention to create these regulations and map. All protests must be in written form and be directed to the Lewis and Clark County Community Development and Planning Department, Room 230, 316 North Park Avenue, Helena, Montana 59601. Protests must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

Protests from owners of real property within these districts must be received by the date and time specified above and contain a brief statement of what is being protested, the physical address(es) of the real property (if no address exists, then the property’s legal description), printed name(s), signature(s), and date of signing. More specific information regarding the protest provisions may be found in Sections 76-2-205(5)(d) and (6) of the Montana Code Annotated.

A copy of the October 6, 2020 Draft Regulations and Map is available for review here, at the Office of the Lewis and Clark County Clerk and Recorder (Room 113), and at the Community Development and Planning Department (Room 230), 316 North Park Avenue, Helena, Montana. For further information, please contact the Community Development and Planning Department at (406) 447-8374 or at planning@lccountymt.gov.

On Thursday, November 19, 2020, the County Commission will hold a public meeting to consider the passage of a Resolution to Create the Helena Valley Planning Area (HVPA) Zoning Regulations and Map, at 9:00 a.m. at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel Conference Center located at 835 Great Northern Boulevard, Helena, Montana. This meeting will also be held electronically via Zoom software. Individuals can choose to participate via video conference or by telephone. Contact the Community Development and Planning Office (406-447-8374) for information to access the meeting electronically.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONSOLIDATED CITY AND COUNTY PLANNING BOARD'S CONSIDERATION AND RECOMMENDATION ON ZONING IS SHOWN BELOW

After meeting on June 16, 2020 and holding subsequent work sessions, the Consolidated City and County Planning Board met on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel Conference Center.  After taking additional public comment, the Planning Board made a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners regarding Part 2 zoning regulations and map for the Helena Valley Planning Area.  Audio recordings of prior meeting and work sessions held and their agendas are linked below.  In addition, the draft regulations, map, proposed amendments, and comments provided to the Planning Board are included in the links below:

June 16, 2020 Planning Board Agenda (PDF)

Audio of June 16, 2020 Planning Board Meeting - Links to YouTube

           Planning Board Meeting Materials for June 16, 2020 (PDF)

Addendum to the Planning Board Meeting Materials for June 16, 2020 (PDF)  - This is additional material that was provided to the Planning Board Members at the meeting by Staff.

Second Addendum to the Planning Board Meeting Materials from June 16, 2020 meeting (PDF) - This is written public comment provided to the Planning Board during public comment at their June 16, 2020 meeting.  Also included are Staff summaries of verbal public comment taken at the meeting and Staff responses. 

Third Addendum for the Planning Board Regarding Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area (PDF) - This is written public comment that has been received since the June 16, 2020 meeting and up until noon on June 25, 2020.  This information was provided to the Planning Board members at their work session on June 25, 2020. 

Fourth Addendum for the Planning Board Regarding Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area (PDF) - This is written public comment that has been received since noon on June 25, 2020 and up until noon on July 21, 2020.  This information will be provided to the Planning Board members at their work session on July 21, 2020.

Fifth Addendum for the Planning Board Regarding Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area (PDF) - This addendum includes an updated Resolution, a draft amendment (Exhibit D) and public comment not previously provided to the Planning and which was received prior to noon on July 30, 2020; staff responses and comments to comments submitted at the July 21, 2020 meeting, responses to comments previously provided by one commenter, summaries of the verbal comments that were provided on July 17,2020 and July 21, 2020 (with staff responses); and an updated telephone log.

Sixth Addendum for the Planning Board Regarding Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area (PDF) - This addendum includes a summary of the verbal comments that were provided on June 25, 2020 (with staff responses).

June 18, 2020 Planning Board Agenda (PDF) Canceled due to a lack of quorum of Planning Board Members. 

June 25, 2020 Planning Board Work Session Agenda (PDF)

Audio of June 25, 2020 Planning Board Work Session - Links to YouTube

July 17, 2020 Planning Board Work Session Agenda (PDF)

Audio of July 17, 2020 Planning Board Work Session - Links to YouTube

July 21, 2020 Planning Board Work Session Agenda (PDF)

Planning Board Materials for the July 17, 2020 and July 21, 2020 Work Sessions

Audio of July 21, 2020 Planning Board Work Session - Links to YouTube

August 4, 2020 Planning Board Meeting (PDF)

Audio of August 4, 2020 Planning Board Meeting - Links to YouTube

CONSOLIDATED CITY AND COUNTY PLANNING BOARD RECOMMENDATION

RESOLUTION 2020-01 (Referenced Exhibits A, B, C, and D and Map are accessible below)

Recommended Draft Helena Valley Planning Area Zoning Regulations (EXHIBIT A):  (PDF)  4-14-2020

Recommended Draft of Helena Valley Planning Area Zoning Map: 4-13-2020 (PDF)

Exhibit B: Amendments to the April 14, 2020 Draft Helena Valley Planning Zoning Regulations, dated June 11, 2020 (PDF)

Exhibit C: Amendments to the April 14, 2020 Draft Helena Valley Planning Zoning Regulations, dated July 14, 2020 (PDF)

Exhibit D: Amendment to the April 14, 2020 Draft Helena Valley Planning Zoning Regulations, dated July 30, 2020 (PDF)

Interactive Map (Works in Google Chrome or IE 11)

The Consolidated City and County Planning Board met to review these DRAFT regulations on June 16, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the Helena Civic Center Auditorium located at 340 Neill Avenue Helena, Montana. In addition to holding an in-person meeting, the Planning Board also allowed individuals to provide verbal comments electronically via Zoom as described in the agenda. The County encourages the public to provide comments on the DRAFT Zoning Regulations and Map in advance of the meeting. Comments may be sent to the Planning Division Office at planning@lccountymt.gov or County Planning Division, Room 230, 316 N. Park Ave., Helena, MT 59623.

At the Consolidated City and County Planning Board Meeting on June 16, 2020, the Part-2 Zoning Project for the Helena Valley Planning Area was continued to June 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the Helena Civic Center Auditorium located at the 340 Neill Avenue Helena, Montana. However, this meeting was canceled due to a lack of a quorum of Planning Board members.  

The Planning Board held a Work Session on June 25, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.in the Helena Civic Center Auditorium located at the 340 Neill Avenue Helena, Montana to discuss the proposed Part-2 Draft Zoning Regulations for the Helena Valley Planning Area. 

The Planning Board held a Work Session on July 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.in the Helena Civic Center Auditorium located at the 340 Neill Avenue Helena, Montana and via Zoom to discuss the proposed Part-2 Draft Zoning Regulations for the Helena Valley Planning Area. No decisions or formal actions on the proposed zoning regulations will occur at the Work Session.   

In addition, the Board Chair requested a Work Session which was held on July 17, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. to preview materials that were discussed at the July 21, 2020 Work Session.  The Work Session on July 17th was held via Zoom only.  No decisions or formal actions on the proposed zoning regulations will occur at the Work Session.   

The Planning Board held a meeting on August 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.in the Best Western Great Northern Hotel Conference Center and via Zoom to take additional public comment and made a recommendation on the proposed Part-2 Draft Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area. 

Citizens were very involved in the 2015 Helena Valley Area Growth Policy, which focused on addressing Five Key Issues:Water, Wastewater, Roads, Fire Protection and Flooding. The Growth Policy created the vision for a new approach to growth management in the Valley; and the proposed zoning is the tool needed to address the growth constraints and respond to them appropriately.

While there are currently 35 Citizen-Initiated Part 1 zoning districts in Lewis and Clark County, Part 2 County-Initiated zoning would affect the majority of the Helena Valley. Proposed are three different types of zone districts intended to support a rural lifestyle, along with both urban and suburban districts for additional lifestyle options.

County Planners presented recommendations to the Planning Board and held meetings and work sessions on June 16, 2020, June 25, 2020, July 17, 2020 and on July 21, 2020.  The Planning Board held a meeting on August 4, 2020 and made a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners on the proposed zoning regulations and map.  The recommendation was considered at a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners on September 22nd, 23rd, 28th, and October 6, 2020 at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel Conference Center and via Zoom.  You may download meeting agendas for all meetings and the information that was  provided to the Commissioners for their September 22nd and October 6th meetings here: https://www.lccountymt.gov/bocc/commission-meetings.html

For more information call 406-447-8374 or email planning@lccountymt.gov

Zoning

Community Development and Planning Contact Information

Community Development and Planning Department
Room 230, City/County Building
316 N. Park Ave., Helena, MT 59623

Department Phone: (406) 447-8374  
Department Email: Email

Hours: 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Monday-Friday

Fort Harrison Urban Growth Area and Rural Growth Area Zone District

The Helena Valley Planning Area includes a multitude of Special Zoning Districts (Citizen Initiated Zoning) as well as County initiated zoning in the area around Fort Harrison.  You can view a location map of these zoning districts below and can download this map here.  In addition, copies of the Fort Harrison Rural Growth Area Zone District can be downloaded here and copies of the Fort Harrison Urban Growth Area Zone District can be downloaded here.

Part 2 Zoning in the Helena Valley Planning Area

UPDATE:

On October 6, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners adopted a Resolution of Intent (Resolution No. 2020-84) to create both zoning districts and regulations for the Helena Valley Planning Area. 

NOTICE OF PASSAGE OF RESOLUTION OF INTENTION TO CREATE THE

HELENA VALLEY PLANNING AREA ZONING MAP AND REGULATIONS

The Lewis and Clark County Commission adopted a Resolution of Intention to create the Helena Valley Planning Area (HVPA) Zoning Regulations and Map which includes Regulations and boundaries for a Rural Residential Mixed-Use District (RR), boundaries for a Suburban Residential Mixed-Use District (SR), and boundaries for an Urban Residential Mixed-Use District (UR). The HVPA consists of approximately 380 square miles.  You can access the Resolution here.

The HVPA is located in the southern part of Lewis and Clark County and is generally bounded by the North Hills on the north, the Missouri River, Hauser Lake, and Spokane Hills on the east, the Lewis and Clark County boundary with Jefferson and Broadwater Counties on the south, and the Continental Divide on the west. It does not include lands within the city limits of Helena and East Helena. As shown on the map it provides a depiction of the HVPA and draft zoning districts. An interactive GIS map is available here and additional description information is available by contacting the Planning Office.

The purpose of the draft zoning regulations is to promote the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of the community. The draft zoning regulations and map shall govern, but are not necessarily limited to, such issues as the height and size of buildings and structures, the size of yards and open space, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures, and land for trade, industry, residence, or other purposes consistent with the policy recommendations of the Lewis and Clark County Growth Policy and its complimentary 2015 Helena Valley Area Plan.

Persons owning real property within the boundaries of these districts may submit written protest regarding the passage of the Resolution of Intention to create these regulations and map. All protests must be in written form and be directed to the Lewis and Clark County Community Development and Planning Department, Room 230, 316 North Park Avenue, Helena, Montana 59601. Protests must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

Protests from owners of real property within these districts must be received by the date and time specified above and contain a brief statement of what is being protested, the physical address(es) of the real property (if no address exists, then the property’s legal description), printed name(s), signature(s), and date of signing. More specific information regarding the protest provisions may be found in Sections 76-2-205(5)(d) and (6) of the Montana Code Annotated.

A copy of the October 6, 2020 Draft Regulations and Map is available for review here, at the Office of the Lewis and Clark County Clerk and Recorder (Room 113), and at the Community Development and Planning Department (Room 230), 316 North Park Avenue, Helena, Montana. For further information, please contact the Community Development and Planning Department at (406) 447-8374 or at planning@lccountymt.gov.

On Thursday, November 19, 2020, the County Commission will hold a public meeting to consider the passage of a Resolution to Create the Helena Valley Planning Area (HVPA) Zoning Regulations and Map, at 9:00 a.m. at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel Conference Center located at 835 Great Northern Boulevard, Helena, Montana. This meeting will also be held electronically via Zoom software. Individuals can choose to participate via video conference or by telephone. Contact the Community Development and Planning Office (406-447-8374) for information to access the meeting electronically.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE CONSOLIDATED CITY AND COUNTY PLANNING BOARD'S CONSIDERATION AND RECOMMENDATION ON ZONING IS SHOWN BELOW

After meeting on June 16, 2020 and holding subsequent work sessions, the Consolidated City and County Planning Board met on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel Conference Center.  After taking additional public comment, the Planning Board made a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners regarding Part 2 zoning regulations and map for the Helena Valley Planning Area.  Audio recordings of prior meeting and work sessions held and their agendas are linked below.  In addition, the draft regulations, map, proposed amendments, and comments provided to the Planning Board are included in the links below:

June 16, 2020 Planning Board Agenda (PDF)

Audio of June 16, 2020 Planning Board Meeting - Links to YouTube

           Planning Board Meeting Materials for June 16, 2020 (PDF)

Addendum to the Planning Board Meeting Materials for June 16, 2020 (PDF)  - This is additional material that was provided to the Planning Board Members at the meeting by Staff.

Second Addendum to the Planning Board Meeting Materials from June 16, 2020 meeting (PDF) - This is written public comment provided to the Planning Board during public comment at their June 16, 2020 meeting.  Also included are Staff summaries of verbal public comment taken at the meeting and Staff responses. 

Third Addendum for the Planning Board Regarding Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area (PDF) - This is written public comment that has been received since the June 16, 2020 meeting and up until noon on June 25, 2020.  This information was provided to the Planning Board members at their work session on June 25, 2020. 

Fourth Addendum for the Planning Board Regarding Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area (PDF) - This is written public comment that has been received since noon on June 25, 2020 and up until noon on July 21, 2020.  This information will be provided to the Planning Board members at their work session on July 21, 2020.

Fifth Addendum for the Planning Board Regarding Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area (PDF) - This addendum includes an updated Resolution, a draft amendment (Exhibit D) and public comment not previously provided to the Planning and which was received prior to noon on July 30, 2020; staff responses and comments to comments submitted at the July 21, 2020 meeting, responses to comments previously provided by one commenter, summaries of the verbal comments that were provided on July 17,2020 and July 21, 2020 (with staff responses); and an updated telephone log.

Sixth Addendum for the Planning Board Regarding Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area (PDF) - This addendum includes a summary of the verbal comments that were provided on June 25, 2020 (with staff responses).

June 18, 2020 Planning Board Agenda (PDF) Canceled due to a lack of quorum of Planning Board Members. 

June 25, 2020 Planning Board Work Session Agenda (PDF)

Audio of June 25, 2020 Planning Board Work Session - Links to YouTube

July 17, 2020 Planning Board Work Session Agenda (PDF)

Audio of July 17, 2020 Planning Board Work Session - Links to YouTube

July 21, 2020 Planning Board Work Session Agenda (PDF)

Planning Board Materials for the July 17, 2020 and July 21, 2020 Work Sessions

Audio of July 21, 2020 Planning Board Work Session - Links to YouTube

August 4, 2020 Planning Board Meeting (PDF)

Audio of August 4, 2020 Planning Board Meeting - Links to YouTube

CONSOLIDATED CITY AND COUNTY PLANNING BOARD RECOMMENDATION

RESOLUTION 2020-01 (Referenced Exhibits A, B, C, and D and Map are accessible below)

Recommended Draft Helena Valley Planning Area Zoning Regulations (EXHIBIT A):  (PDF)  4-14-2020

Recommended Draft of Helena Valley Planning Area Zoning Map: 4-13-2020 (PDF)

Exhibit B: Amendments to the April 14, 2020 Draft Helena Valley Planning Zoning Regulations, dated June 11, 2020 (PDF)

Exhibit C: Amendments to the April 14, 2020 Draft Helena Valley Planning Zoning Regulations, dated July 14, 2020 (PDF)

Exhibit D: Amendment to the April 14, 2020 Draft Helena Valley Planning Zoning Regulations, dated July 30, 2020 (PDF)

Interactive Map (Works in Google Chrome or IE 11)

The Consolidated City and County Planning Board met to review these DRAFT regulations on June 16, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the Helena Civic Center Auditorium located at 340 Neill Avenue Helena, Montana. In addition to holding an in-person meeting, the Planning Board also allowed individuals to provide verbal comments electronically via Zoom as described in the agenda. The County encourages the public to provide comments on the DRAFT Zoning Regulations and Map in advance of the meeting. Comments may be sent to the Planning Division Office at planning@lccountymt.gov or County Planning Division, Room 230, 316 N. Park Ave., Helena, MT 59623.

At the Consolidated City and County Planning Board Meeting on June 16, 2020, the Part-2 Zoning Project for the Helena Valley Planning Area was continued to June 18, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. in the Helena Civic Center Auditorium located at the 340 Neill Avenue Helena, Montana. However, this meeting was canceled due to a lack of a quorum of Planning Board members.  

The Planning Board held a Work Session on June 25, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.in the Helena Civic Center Auditorium located at the 340 Neill Avenue Helena, Montana to discuss the proposed Part-2 Draft Zoning Regulations for the Helena Valley Planning Area. 

The Planning Board held a Work Session on July 21, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.in the Helena Civic Center Auditorium located at the 340 Neill Avenue Helena, Montana and via Zoom to discuss the proposed Part-2 Draft Zoning Regulations for the Helena Valley Planning Area. No decisions or formal actions on the proposed zoning regulations will occur at the Work Session.   

In addition, the Board Chair requested a Work Session which was held on July 17, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. to preview materials that were discussed at the July 21, 2020 Work Session.  The Work Session on July 17th was held via Zoom only.  No decisions or formal actions on the proposed zoning regulations will occur at the Work Session.   

The Planning Board held a meeting on August 4, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.in the Best Western Great Northern Hotel Conference Center and via Zoom to take additional public comment and made a recommendation on the proposed Part-2 Draft Zoning Regulations and Map for the Helena Valley Planning Area. 

Citizens were very involved in the 2015 Helena Valley Area Growth Policy, which focused on addressing Five Key Issues:Water, Wastewater, Roads, Fire Protection and Flooding. The Growth Policy created the vision for a new approach to growth management in the Valley; and the proposed zoning is the tool needed to address the growth constraints and respond to them appropriately.

While there are currently 35 Citizen-Initiated Part 1 zoning districts in Lewis and Clark County, Part 2 County-Initiated zoning would affect the majority of the Helena Valley. Proposed are three different types of zone districts intended to support a rural lifestyle, along with both urban and suburban districts for additional lifestyle options.

County Planners presented recommendations to the Planning Board and held meetings and work sessions on June 16, 2020, June 25, 2020, July 17, 2020 and on July 21, 2020.  The Planning Board held a meeting on August 4, 2020 and made a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners on the proposed zoning regulations and map.  The recommendation was considered at a public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners on September 22nd, 23rd, 28th, and October 6, 2020 at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel Conference Center and via Zoom.  You may download meeting agendas for all meetings and the information that was  provided to the Commissioners for their September 22nd and October 6th meetings here: https://www.lccountymt.gov/bocc/commission-meetings.html

For more information call 406-447-8374 or email planning@lccountymt.gov

Fort Harrison Urban Growth Area and Rural Growth Area Zone District

The Helena Valley Planning Area includes a multitude of Special Zoning Districts (Citizen Initiated Zoning) as well as County initiated zoning in the area around Fort Harrison.  You can view a location map of these zoning districts below and can download this map here.  In addition, copies of the Fort Harrison Rural Growth Area Zone District can be downloaded here and copies of the Fort Harrison Urban Growth Area Zone District can be downloaded here.