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Missoula County Subdivision Regulations Rewrite Project: INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS

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InfrastructureFrequently Asked Questions
(click on each question to be directed to the responses below)
  1. Why do we have INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS what are they?
  2. Why are we rewriting the INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS?
  3. What are the guiding principles for rewriting the INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS?
  4. When will the INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS be addressed?
  5. How can I stay informed and/or get involved in the INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS?
  6. Where can I learn more about INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS?

Current Infrastructure Design Standards Documents

Subdivision Regulations Infrastructure Design Standards Time Line - Updated January 2015
May 2014 Preliminary review by technical agencies and development consulting firms
Fall 2014 General public review commences
Informal workshops and deadline for public comments
     - To review the draft documents, click here
     - For Question & Answer Sessions and Office Hours,
       click here.
July 7, 2015 Planning Board Hearing Draft released and Planning Board public hearing
August 26, 2015 Board of County Commissioner Hearing Draft available and BCC public hearing - estimated

For an overview and timeline of the entire Subdivision Regulation REWRITE project, click here.

  1. Why do we have INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS what are they?
    • State law outlines the requirements of subdivision regulations which are to ensure adequate infrastructure such as roads, public utility easements, water and drainage systems, sanitary facilities, and other facilities to address public services. Consequently, subdivision regulations include standards for infrastructure in an effort to ensure that there is adequate infrastructure to serve new residents in the subdivision, protect public health and safety, and avoid or mitigate impacts to neighboring residents and businesses.
    • Infrastructure design standards are currently found in Article 3 of the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations.
    • This category of amendments includes standards for infrastructure required in new subdivisions, such as:
      • Roads within the subdivision and leading to the subdivision to ensure legal and physical access, etc.
      • Non-motorized facilities such as sidewalks, walkways, bicycle lanes, and trails
      • Water supply and systems for fire suppression
      • Potable Water for domestic and irrigation purposes such as wells and public systems
      • Wastewater treatment systems such as septic systems and public sewer systems
      • Grading, drainage and erosion control requirements
      • Stormwater management
      • Irrigation systems and easements

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  1. Why are we rewriting the INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS?
    •  In the Subdivision Regulations Assessment, we heard a number of concerns regarding infrastructure standards, particularly related to roads and non-motorized facilities, such as:
      • Infrastructure, particularly roads and walkways, that might be appropriate in the urban area is currently also required in remote and rural areas of the County. Need to consider how to address standards appropriate for rural and remote areas, the fringe around the City of Missoula and in small communities in the County.
      • Consider including City standards for areas likely to be annexed in the near future.
      • Reconcile the various standards that apply to access – currently there is variation between the access standards for fire and those found in the transportation section.
      • Non-motorized standards need to be reconsidered, particularly the standards related to trails.
      • Address potential legal access issues for subdivisions accessed by Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management roads

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  1. What are the guiding principles for rewriting the INFRASTRUCTURE DESIGN STANDARDS?
    • Develop infrastructure standards that are appropriate to various locations in the County such as urban, rural, and “small town” areas.
    • Use widely accepted standards and best practices to help guide the update.
    • Reconcile information from various agencies providing technical input on infrastructure standards including County and City Public Works Departments, Missoula Rural Fire District, Missoula County Fire Inspector, County Parks and Trails, Missoula City-County Health Department, and others.

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Contact and 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:

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UPDATED June 18, 2015