Can I Still Park My Camaro on the Lawn?

Can I Still Park My Camaro on the Lawn?

Montague, Ada
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Next time you go play in Gallatin Canyon, it will be hard to miss the new billboard near Castle Rock in front of the old Critter Camp. It's probably not the best-looking thing in the world, but because Gallatin County has no regulatory land-use authority in about 75% of its jurisdiction, including the northern part of Gallatin Canyon, there have been few ways to deter those sorts of changes.

The county has a history of grassroots zoning instead, which means the people of Gallatin County have had a direct role in shaping the area’s land use. In the past, strip clubs, coal-bed methane, water quantity, and recently gravel pits have led to zoning efforts in some areas.

But this fall, after two years of work, the County Commission is considering countywide zoning. The proposal in question will establish density limits--restrictions on the number and type of structures per acre of land in certain areas--as part of a broader Growth Policy Implementation Program that must balance community interests with individual property rights. The idea is to help communities draft citizen-initiated land-use plans, which can include some level of zoning, while providing county-wide zoning to regulate density in rural areas.

“Gallatin County is a classic case of a formerly rural place that’s been subject to rapid population growth,” says Warren Vaughan, a county planner in charge of community planning efforts. “Zoning is one tool that can help people share space better.”

Visit gallatin.mt.gov and follow the link to the Planning Department for updates.
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