Subdivision Regulation Amendments

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Missoula County Community & Planning Services (CAPS) routinely proposes amendments as part of ongoing maintenance of the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations.

Commissioner Hearing

On February 6 at 2 pm, the Missoula Board of County Commissioners will continue the public hearing on the proposed amendments to the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations that was first opened on Thursday, January 2, 2020. The hearing will be held in Sophie Moiese Room 151 of the Missoula County Courthouse Annex, 200 W. Broadway, Missoula, MT.

Comments may be made at the public hearing or in writing prior to the hearing by emailing or mailing to Christine Dascenzo at the CAPS address above.

Planning Board Summary

On December 3, 2019 the Planning Board voted 6-0 to recommend the proposed amendments to the Board of County Commissioners for adoption, as amended and with a minor change to Section

That change would go from "at least two (2) dwellings per acre" to "at least three (3) dwellings per acre" in Section

Project Summary 

CAPS proposes amendments to the following chapters of the subdivision regulations:

  • Chapter 2 Definitions
  • Chapter 3 General Design Standards for all Subdivisions, and Appendix A
  • Chapter 5 Procedures for Subdivision Review, Preliminary Plat, Variances, and Appeals
  • Chapter 6 Final Plat and Subdivision Improvement Guarantees
  • Chapter 7 General Submittal Requirements

The main amendments focus on two topics. The first, aligns the urban/rural distinction in Chapter 3 with land use designations from the Missoula Area Land Use Element, adopted in June of 2019. The second incorporates into Chapters 5 and 6 the changes to phased developments from state law. Additional revisions in other chapters include general updates and copy edits.

Proposed amendments include the following:

  • URBAN AND RURAL STANDARDS (Beginning in Section 3.4.2)

    • Changes how the urban and rural areas are determined.
    • Eliminates annual Commissioner review of the boundaries.
    • Applies the urban standard exception to residential subdivisions only.
    • Requires curb, gutter, and boulevard in all urban area subdivision, not just major small lot subdivisions.
    • Determines standards for non-motorized facilities by land use designation.
    • Introduces an off-road trail alternative for major subdivisions in the rural area.
    • Updates Appendix A to reflect changes to urban area boundaries.



    • Chapter 5
      • Incorporates updates to state statute related to phased developments, enacted on May 8, 2017
      • Delineates separate processes for extension requests and modification requests in subdivisions approved prior to May 8, 2017 and those approved on or after that date.
      • Reorganizes some sections of the regulations for improved clarity.
    • Chapter 6
      • Requires remaining tracts of phased subdivision that are less than 160 acres to be included in final plat surveys.
      • Clarifies the process for recording final plats.
      • Requires a hearing process prior to filing each phase of a phased subdivision.



    • In Section 2.2.71, a definition is added for “Phase Development”.
    • In Section 3.1.3, “High groundwater” and “Other hazards as identified” are added to the list of hazards and defined.
    • In Section 7.6.10 Hazardous Land Assessment, a high groundwater hazard assessment is added.
    • Copy edits throughout.

Please direct your comments to Christine Dascenzo at Written comments can be mailed to CAPS, 200 W. Broadway, Missoula, MT, 59802.