Missoula County Subdivision Regulations Rewrite Project: SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER
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Why do we have the SUBDIVISION REVIEW
PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER and what is it?
- State law outlines the subdivision review process to be followed by local communities. Within the parameters of state law, Missoula County provides local review procedures in the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations. This is the “planning review” for subdivisions which is separate from the sanitation review completed by the Missoula City-County Health Department under contract with the Department of Environmental Quality. Currently, the provisions for subdivision review procedures and variances can be found in Article 5 of the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations, which outlines process requirements for major (6+ lots) and minor (5 or fewer) subdivisions.
- State law also allows local governments to include a variance procedure to allow for variation from the regulations. The variances provision in the subdivision regulations must include criteria for evaluation. The variances procedure and evaluation criteria can be found in Article 5 of the Missoula County Subdivision Regulations.
We heard a number of concerns about the review procedures and administration of the subdivision regulations in the Subdivision Regulations Assessment such as:
The subdivision review process is excessively costly and burdensome, especially for applicants doing minor subdivisions and family transfers.
The initial steps in the review process are inefficient including the meeting required to initiate element review (Staff Note: An element review meeting is no longer required by Missoula County) and the combination of agency and sufficiency review.
The preparation of submittal packets is expensive, especially if they have to be submitted multiple times.
Variances are commonly used to deal with inflexible regulations. If the variance request is denied, it can result in the need to modify an application and require an applicant to start over.
What are the guiding principles for rewriting
the SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER?
- Follow the statutory requirements, but organize the subdivision review procedures to make the process as clear as possible.
- Look for opportunities to streamline the process, particularly for minor subdivisions.
- Clarify the criteria for granting variances and consider more flexibility for situations where granting the variance does not create significant impacts to public health or safety or to public cost.
When will the SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER be
The subdivision review procedures and variances provisions in the subdivision regulations are anticipated to be address at the same time as the infrastructure design standards. Initial review is anticipated to occur in May with adoption anticipated in August 2014.
For an overview and timeline of the entire Subdivision Regulation REWRITE project, click here.
Subdivision Regulations Review Procedures 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,
Spring 2015 Planning Board Hearing Draft released and Planning Board public hearing - estimated Spring 2015 Board of County Commissioner Hearing Draft available and BCC public hearing - estimated
- There will be multiple opportunities
for involvement throughout the project. For more
details about public participation click
- Send us comments (We will post comments here so everyone can see what we are learning from the comments we receive.
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- 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.
- There will be multiple opportunities for involvement throughout the project. For more details about public participation click here.
Where can I learn more about SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER?
Go to the Documents and Resources page to learn more about this project.
Contact and Office Location
Questions about the project in general should be directed to
Tim Worley, CAPS Senior Planner, at 258-4657.
200 West Broadway
Missoula, MT 59802
323 W. Alder St.
Missoula, MT 59802
(Click here for map)
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UPDATED January 28, 2015