Lewis & Clark County to take public comment on zoning proposal

Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-22 08:00:25-04

HELENA — Starting Tuesday, the public will have another opportunity to weigh in on Lewis and Clark County’s proposal to implement new zoning rules in the Helena Valley.

The Lewis and Clark County Commission is holding a public hearing on the county-initiated zoning plan from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday. The meeting will be held at the Great Northern Hotel in Helena, to provide more space for distancing.

People can also take part in the meeting over Zoom. You can find a link on the county website.

Leaders have also set aside time on Wednesday evening and Monday afternoon for people to provide comments. In addition, written comments will be accepted until 12 p.m., Sept. 30, by email to or by mail to Community Development and Planning Division, Room 230, 316 N. Park Ave., Helena, MT 59623.

Commissioners plan to begin their deliberations on the zoning proposal on Oct. 6.

The proposed plan would create three zoning districts – one urban, one suburban and one rural – across much of southern Lewis and Clark County. It includes a variety of regulations on things like allowable land uses and building heights. One of the most notable changes would be implementing a minimum lot size of 10 acres in the rural district, to limit density.

The county says the zoning plan is intended to manage growth and create more predictability, and to make it easier to address issues like water availability, wastewater, roads, flooding and fire protection. However, the proposal has drawn strong opposition from a number of Valley landowners, who said they created too many restrictions on how property could be used, and that they could threaten property values.