Community Development and Planning
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.
Zoning Advisory Panel: About
On November 19, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) established the HVPA Blue-Ribbon Panel (to be known as the "Zoning Advisory Panel") to investigate and assist with recommendations for several specific aspects of the Helena Valley Planning Area zoning regulations.
The panel will be tasked with providing recommendations on regulations for the approved Urban and Suburban Residential Mixed-Use Zone Districts, as well as options or alternative approaches to the approved and temporarily deferred 10-acre minimum lot size/density parameters for the Rural Residential Mixed-Use Zone District.
The panel is comprised of 12 voting members, representing a cross-section of interests specific to the recently approved Zoning for the Helena Valley Planning Area. An additional four staff from the Community Development and Planning Department will be seated as non-voting members. Other non-voting members could be seated on an ad-hoc basis (both from within and external to the County Staff) as specific issues arise. A non-voting moderator was also selected to serve on the Panel.
The panel will operate for approximately 12 months with a dissolution occurring by January 15, 2022, unless a time extension is approved by the BoCC.
The panel is comprised of representatives from each of the following categories for the 12 voting member positions:
- Real Estate
- Fire Services, with background in both wildland and non-wildland issues
- Helena Valley Flood Committee representing flooding concerns
- Affordable Housing
- Banking and Finance
- Conservation Land Trusts
- Citizens of the Helena Valley Planning Area, including from existing Part-1 zoned areas and from a Part-2 zoned area
- County Appointed Official from the City-County Consolidated Planning Board
Specific to the Rural Residential Mixed-Use Zone District, during their deliberations on October 6, 2020, the BoCC stated their commitment and support for using minimum lot sizes/density restrictions in the Rural Growth Area of the HVPA. In doing so, they acknowledged that the proposed 10-acre minimum lot size/density (across the Rural Growth Area) would be an effective tool to address the concerns raised in the 2015 Growth Policy update specific to the rural key issues (Water, Roads, and Fire). However, the BoCC also acknowledged that some of the public expressed an interest in working on potential alternatives to the approved homogeneous 10-acre minimum lot size/density across the Rural area. As such, while the BoCC approved the 10-acre minimum lot size/density restriction, they also chose to temporarily defer the implementation of specific portions of the Rural Residential Mixed-Use Zone District. The delayed effective date, of approved Sections 706, 707, and 708, acknowledges their desire to work closely with community partners to seek options, improve upon the appropriately written zoning regulations as the BoCC affirmed with the Resolution of Creation 2020-97.
The delayed implementation date for the aforementioned approved Sections is June 1, 2022. This date allows for a targeted discussion (approximately a year) of options; and also respects the concerns of the greater general public whom have long supported zoning in the HVPA and their attendant commitment for sound planning measures vis a vis their work on the 2015 Growth Policy update. Further, the proposed timeframe allows appropriate requisite process time to move through the Planning Board and County Commission process.
Zoning Advisiory Panel: Meeting Agendas
Zoning Advisory Panel: Meeting Materials
Meeting Materials distributed to Panel Members for February 24, 2021 meeting:
- DRAFT February 10, 2021 Meeting Minutes
- Zoning Advisory Panel Ground Rules
- City of Helena Growth Policy *Link will take reader to City of Helena Website: https://www.helenamt.gov/government/departments/community-development/planning/long-range-planning
- City of East Helena Growth Policy
Meeting Materials distributed to Panel Members for February 10, 2021 meeting:
- Approved January 27, 2021 Meeting Minutes;
- Presentation made during the meeting regarding State and Local Land Use Codes and Regulations; and
- Presentation made during the meeting regarding 2015 Growth Policy Update, Helena Valley Area Plan;
- Noted Resource for Land Use information and education: Montana Department of Commerce, Community Development Division: Community Technical Assistance Program *Link will take reader to a State of Montana Website: https://comdev.mt.gov/Programs/CTAP
Meeting Materials distributed to Panel Members for January 27, 2021 meeting:
- Memorandum from Peter Italiano, Director of Community Development and Planning;
- ZAP Resolution of Formation and By-Laws ORIGINAL and RE-ADOPTED;
- Growth Policy - 2015 Update for the Helena Valley Planning Area (HVPA) - Volumes 1 and 2;
- Montana Code Annotated (MCA) (2019) - Land-use and planning related statutes;
- Sections 7, 8, and 9 of the recently approved Zoning Regulations for the HVPA; and
- Membership Roster.
SUBMIT WRITTEN COMMENTS TO THE ZONING ADVISORY PANEL
If you would like to provide written comments to the Zoning Advisory Panel (ZAP), please send them to the Community Development and Planning Department, Attention ZAP at 316 N. Park Avenue, Helena, MT 59623 or fax them to (406) 447-8398. Comments can also be emailed to the Department's Email address. Please include the words "Attention ZAP" in your email subject line.