Downtown Zoning Code Update


Project Overview

The City of Helena is currently updating its zoning code for the downtown neighborhood, as designated in the 2016 Helena Downtown Neighborhood Plan (DNP). The DNP sets forth an exciting vision for the future of downtown Helena, one that incorporates significant redevelopment potential, activates public spaces and supports increased connectivity, and recommends a progressive approach to parking requirements and housing opportunity around the downtown core. While the plan was a significant first step, the zoning code is where “the rubber meets the road” in terms of bringing that vision into focus.

Participation Opportunities

The code update project kicked off during the week of April 10-13 with a series of stakeholder meetings, in-depth site analysis and a public open house. This initial series of meetings with stakeholders and the public was intended to provide the consultant team with insight on technical aspects of the current code that should be modified or streamlined, current zoning designations (there are 9 unique zones that affect downtown Helena) that can be consolidated, design standards that are desired and reflect the vision of the Downtown Neighborhood Plan, and ideas for re-development incentives that could be incorporated in the updated code.  Around 50 participants joined City staff in these discussions, and Orion Planning and Design consultants are now hard at work reviewing the comments received and crafting the downtown’s new zoning code.

For additional information on the downtown zoning code update, and to stay informed about upcoming public meetings and opportunities to participate, please revisit this website or visit the project webpage at We will share news of future events as and when they are scheduled.


If you have questions or comments throughout the process, please contact the City of Helena Community Development Department at citycommunitydevelopment(at) or call (406) 447-8490.