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Missoula County Subdivision Regulations Rewrite Project: SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER


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

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  1. Why are we rewriting the SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER?  

    • 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 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.

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  1. 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.

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  1. When will the SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER be addressed?
    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. PLEASE NOTE: An updated timeline is being developed. .
    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.
    Fall 2014 Planning Board Hearing Draft released and Planning Board public hearing - estimated
    Fall 2014 Board of County Commissioner Hearing Draft available and BCC public hearing - estimated

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  1. How can I stay informed and/or get involved in the SUBDIVISION REVIEW PROCEDURES AND VARIANCES CHAPTER?

    • 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.

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  1. 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.

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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: caps@co.missoula.mt.us

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UPDATED August 29, 2014