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Missoula County Zoning Update Phase 2 Kicks Off!

Post Date:04/18/2019 11:54 AM 

Missoula County is embarking on a comprehensive zoning code audit and regulation update aimed at better reflecting the County’s 2016 growth policy and revised land use map.

While Missoula County Zoning Regulations govern all land use and development outside the city limits, they are primarily applied within the Missoula Valley. Originally adopted in 1976, the regulations were amended in April 2017 as part of the first phase of a comprehensive update. Amendments in Phase 1 focused primarily on compliance with state law and recent county policy changes, with additional improvements to organization and district structure.

The second phase − this project − is aimed at creating regulations that better align with Missoula County's growth policy. This means creating a code that:

  • Provides greater opportunity for a wide range of housing choices
  • Supports varied and robust economic opportunities
  • Promotes quality design and protects community character
  • Reduces public risk resulting from development in areas prone to fire and flood
  • Protects the natural environment and cultural resources
  • Removes unnecessary barriers to quality development

To achieve this, a comprehensive audit of the County's existing regulations will be conducted to assess where misalignment with the growth policy and these goals presently occurs. The audit will provide recommendations on code improvements based on best practices and real application in comparable communities. Amendments to the existing regulations will start following the County's review and acceptance of the audit recommendations (anticipated in late summer 2019).

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