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Missoula County Subdivision Regulations Rewrite Project: HOME

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What's New?Public ParticipationDocuments & ResourcesReceived CommentsSend a Comment

Missoula County is updating its subdivision regulations and we invite you to participate in the effort. This website is being launched to proved a place where residents, landowners, businesses, and others can learn more about the effort, obtain background information, and make comments during the process. We will work to keep the site updated with events, such as open houses, public hearings, and other information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Patrick O'Herren
Chief Planning Officer
Missoula County Community and Planning Services

HOT TOPICS - Newly Updated Information
CAPS is continuing to move forward with the Subdivision Regulation Rewrite process and has most recently released a draft update to
   - Article 3.1.4: Agriculture.

The draft Agriculture Regulations will be going before Planning Board on September 1, 2015.

Click here to be directed to the documents page.
Please read the memo from Patrick O'Herren here for more information.
Subdivision Regulations Rewrite Documents & Resources

HomeFrequently Asked Questions
(click on each question to be directed to responses below)
  1. What are the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations and why do we have them?
  2. Why are we rewriting the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations?
  3. What are the guiding principles for rewriting the Subdivision Regulations?
  4. How are the subdivision regulations being rewritten?
  5. When will the pieces I'm interested in be addresses? What is the overall timeline?
  6. How can I stay informed/or get involved in the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations REWRITE project?
  1. What are the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations and why do we have them?
    • As required by state law, subdivision regulations guide the creation of new subdivisions. The regulations guiding these new developments, are intended to:
      • protect public health and safety,
      • provide for adequate facilities to serve developments, including roads, walkways, sewage treatment and water systems, parks, etc.
      • protect the natural environment and preserve open space
      • promote design that is appropriate to the area and provides for efficient provision of local services
      • protect the rights of property owners
    • State law requires every jurisdiction, whether city or county, to have subdivision regulations and as part of state law, the State has provided some guidance as to what the subdivision regulations are to include. However, the Legislature leaves many of the details to local cities and counties to develop through adoption of local regulations.

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  1. Why are we rewriting the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations?
    • The existing regulations are difficult to use. They are very wordy and contain information in multiple locations that address the same topic.
    • The regulations have been revised many times over recent years with small specific changes.
    • Public comments and land use and development professionals’ experience suggests that the entire set of regulations should be comprehensively overhauled and modernized instead of continuing to patch specific problems.
    • Changes made to state subdivision laws necessitate changes to local regulations.

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  1. What are the guiding principles for rewriting the Subdivision Regulations?
    • Recognize landowners have the right to propose subdivision of their land in a manner that minimizes hazards, protects resources, and ensures functional services.
    • Balance public input with professional knowledge to produce the best possible regulations.
    • Make the subdivision regulations easier to use.

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  1. How are the subdivision regulations being rewritten?
    • This project is being initially guided by comments we received from members of the public and local land use professionals. An extensive assessment of the old subdivision regulations was completed that included 23 listening sessions with 128 participants from a wide range of professions, organizations and communities within the County. The assessment provided an initial long list of suggestions for updates to be made.
    • The old regulations were reorganized and reformatted then adopted by the Missoula County Commissioners in summer 2013, as recommended in the assessment.
    • The content of the reorganized regulations is now being revised to update and streamline them.
    • CAPS staff is working with a professional consultant team to guide the Subdivision Regulations REWRITE through the revision process. The consulting team has extensive experience in Montana and the intermountain west. Additional advice is being sought from local organizations and members of the public, professional development consulting firms in the Missoula area, and affected agencies that commonly comment on subdivisions.

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  1. When will the pieces I'm interested in be addresses? What is the overall timeline?
    • Revisions are being completed in phases that focus on topics and/or sections of the regulations. Below is the list of when different amendments are anticipated.
    • Subdivision Regulations REWRITE Time Line - Updated January 2015
      Section or Topic to be Revised Anticipated Start Anticipated Finish
      Infrastructure design standards May
      Spring 2015
      Subdivision review procedures and variances May
      Spring 2015
      Agriculture design standards and mitigation options May
      Fall 2015
      Subdivision exemptions Sept. 2014 Fall 2015
      General design standards for all subdivisions (not including infrastructure, agriculture, wildlife/wildlife habitat/natural environment) Sept. 2014 Fall 2015
      Specific standards for certain types of subdivisions (RV parks, Mobile Home Parks, Condominiums, cluster developments, Planned Unit Developments) Sept. 2014 Fall 2015
      Natural environment, wildlife and wildlife habitat design standards and mitigation options TBD TBD
      Final plats and subdivision improvements agreements Summer 2015 Winter 2015
      Submittal requirements Summer 2015 Winter 2015
      General provisions and definitions (final amendments - additional amendments may be made as other sections are amended) Summer 2015 Winter 2015

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  1. How can I stay informed/or get involved in the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations REWRITE project?
    • There will be multiple opportunities for involvement throughout the project. For more details about public participation click here.
      • Send us comments (We will post comments here so everyone can see what we are learning from the comments we receive.
      • Receive Email and e-Newsletter Updates (Click here) – You can join our mailing list to receive news and updates about this project and other CAPS projects.
      • Check the Website (Click here ) – Information about this project and the series of revisions will be posted on the project website.
      • Attend Open Houses/Workshops (Click here for events.
      • Attend Public Hearings (Click here for events)
      • Contact us – If you have questions or need to sit down and talk to someone about this project, we are here to help. Give us a call or email and we’ll set up a meeting. You can find our contact information here.


Contact & Office Location

Questions about the project in general should be directed to Karen Hughes, CAPS Assistant Director or to Tim Worley, CAPS Senior Planner, at 258-4657.

Mailing Address:
200 West Broadway
Missoula, MT 59802
Office Address:
323 W. Alder St.
Missoula, MT 59802
(Click here for map)
Email Address:

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UPDATED August 14, 2015