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Missoula County Subdivision Regulations Rewrite Project: AGRICULTURE DESIGN STANDARDS & MITIGATION OPTIONS


Home Infrastructure Agriculture Review Procedures
Project Home Infrastructure Agriculture Review Procedures

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AgricultureFrequently Asked Questions
(click on each question to be directed to the responses below)
  1. Why are the Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options in the subdivision regulations and what are they?
  2. Why are we rewriting the AGRICULTURE DESIGN STANDARDS AND MITIGATION OPTIONS?
  3. What are the guiding principles for rewriting the Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options?
  4. When will the Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options be addressed?
  5. How can I stay informed and/or get involved in the Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options?
  6. Where can I learn more about Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options?
  1. Why are the Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options in the subdivision regulations and what are they?
    • According to the Montana Constitution, the County Commissioners as an extension of state government have the responsibility and duty to protect, enhance, and develop agriculture.
    • The Montana Subdivision and Platting Act requires that local government address the potential impacts of subdivision development on agriculture and agricultural water user facilities as two of the review criteria for subdivision review.
    • Agriculture design standards and mitigation options are standards that guide subdivision design and mitigation when there is the potential of a subdivision to significantly affect agriculture and agriculture water user facilities. The current subdivision regulations include definitions of agriculture and agriculture water user facilities and general guidance as to how assess the impact of a subdivision on these criteria.

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  1. Why are we rewriting the AGRICULTURE DESIGN STANDARDS AND MITIGATION OPTIONS?
    • The subdivision regulations assessment revealed a need to improve predictability for all involved (including landowners, neighbors, consultants, developers, staff, Planning Board, and Commissioners) in the subdivision review process, instead of the current ad hoc evaluation and case by case negotiation used to decide on the impacts and appropriate mitigation.
    • The assessment noted a need to clarify what constitutes a significant impact on agriculture and identify a consistent set of mitigation standards that are known at the beginning of the subdivision process.

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  1. What are the guiding principles for rewriting the Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options?
    • Provide clearer standards and definitions to address agriculture and agriculture water user facilities, describe what constitutes a significant impact on agriculture and agricultural water user facilities, and identify acceptable options for mitigation of impacts.
    • Develop standards and definitions that are, as much as possible, based on community consensus.

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  1. When will the Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options be addressed?
    The 2012 Agriculture Policy Project was previously initiated to address agriculture policy in Missoula County and the agriculture provisions in the subdivision regulations in particular. That process was temporarily halted in winter of 2013 during the legislative session. The Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options portion of the Subdivision Regulations REWRITE project will pick up from where we left off with the Agriculture Policy Project. This project was delayed in order to incorporate it into the Subdivision Regulations REWRITE Project. PLEASE NOTE: An updated timeline is being developed.

    This section is anticipated to initially overlap with the review of infrastructure standards and subdivision review procedures and variances provisions. The time line provides an overview of the anticipated process and it will be updated as we work through the public involvement and feedback.

    May 27-29 Open Houses - consider ideas regarding how agriculture is to be defined, how to assess significant impacts, and consider mitigation options.
    July 1 Report results of open houses to Planning Board
         - July 1 Planning Board Agenda
         - July 1 Planning Board Minutes
         - Staff Memo
         - Powerpoint Presentation on Open Houses
         - Agriculture Open House Workstation Preview
    July 15 Planning Board Meeting
         - July 15 Planning Board Agenda
         - Memo
         - Framework
         - Summary of Comments on Framework
    August 5 Planning Board Meeting
         - August 5 Planning Board Agenda
         - August 5 Planning Board Minutes
    August 19 Memo delaying public hearing on regulations
    September 10 Informal Agriculture Work Group Meeting
         - Click here for Summary of Discussions with
            Individual Work Group Participants
         - Click here for Work Group Meeting Agenda
         - Click here for Work Group Meeting Notes
    November 18 Planning Board Subcommittee Presentation
         - Agenda
         - Minutes
         - Presentation
         - Handout
    December 2 CAPS & National Coalition Building Institute Meeting
    City Council Chambers, 140 W. Pine, Missoula
    Tuesday, Dec. 2 from 9:30 - noon

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  1. How can I stay informed and/or get involved in the Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options?
    • 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.
  2. Where can I learn more about Agriculture Design Standards and Mitigation Options?
    Go to the Documents and Resources page to learn more about this project.


Contact & Office Location

Questions about the project in general should be directed 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: caps@co.missoula.mt.us

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Updated September 4, 2014