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Community and Planning Services:
Lolo Area Regional Plan



Overview

Due to its location in western Montana, the Lolo region has experienced considerable growth over a sustained period of time. Examples of growth and related land use activities around Lolo include a proposal for a four season destination resort (not yet submitted for county subdivision review), planning for potential infrastructure expansion, increased residential development due to proximity to Missoula, gravel mining operations, and significant shifts in land ownership and management.

Current planning tools appear to be inadequate for this area. In spite of having recently developed a land use plan in 2002, without zoning classifications in place it has become little more than a guiding document. Consequently, subdivision regulations are the primary land use planning tool in place for this area and they are only utilized when a subdivision application is submitted to the County. In addition, development review cannot use compliance with a land use plan or growth policy as the basis for a decision.

In response to these issues and at the request of residents, Missoula County is initiating a land use planning process that would result in limited revisions to the 2002 Lolo Plan based on changes necessary to address current conditions, then, if supported by citizens, following with a proposal to implement the plan that will direct growth to appropriate areas while concurrently protecting valuable conservation resources.