Subdivision Regulations Update 2012
The City of Helena is currently in the process of updating its Subdivision Regulations to incorporate direction from the recently adopted City of Helena Growth Policy Update, City of Helena Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan and Complete Streets Resolution. Since the last revisions changes have been made to the Montana Code Annotated (MCA) amending the Subdivision and Platting Act. Some of the proposed revisions to the City regulations are to incorporate or clarify these changes, as well as recent court rulings regarding interpretation of the Subdivision and Platting Act. Other changes incorporate comments gathered at various community meetings.
On November 29, 2011 the Consolidated Planning Board recommended to the City Commission, revisions to the City of Helena Subdivision Regulations. The City Commission reviewed these recommendations at the City Commission Meeting and other various work sessions.
On January 14, 2012 - the Commission approved first passage of the Planning Board's recommendations, as amended, for revisions to the City Subdivision Regulations and set the public hearing date of February 11, 2013.
The Helena City Commission held a public hearing on February 11, 2013 to consider final passage of Ordinances amending the City Subdivision Regulations. After public comments were heard, the City Commission tabled the Ordinances until the call of the City Manager in order to allow the City time to move forward with amendments to the City Engineering Standards and implementation of the City Complete Streets Resolution.
The following draft amendments may be introduced at the Commission public hearing:
If you have questions or comments concerning the proposed changes, please contact the City by email at publiccommentssubregs(at)helenamt.gov or written comments can be submitted to the Helena City Commission, 316 North Park Avenue, Helena, Montana 59623.
The ordinance amending Chapter 1 includes language to reorganize and clarify sections of the City subdivision regulations. The definition section was changed to reflect proposed changes to other sections of this Title regarding water body protection.
Due to the several reconfigurations of this chapter resulting in numerous underlining and cross outs which made the revisions difficult to understand, the entire chapter will be repealed and presented as a new chapter; the majority of the chapter has not changed.
The ordinance amending Chapter 2 includes language that updates procedures and final plat requirements. The items required for a complete application have been amended and a one year time frame for submitting missing preliminary plat information is added. The changes include a new section on Parks Board review of applications; clarifies what is required prior to final plat approval including infrastructure installation; the sidewalk installation is now consistent with sidewalk requirements in other sections of City Code. The amendments also include changes to assure compliance with state law.
The ordinance amending Chapter 4 includes:
-Changing the right-of-width (ROW) for
- Local streets from 48-foot to 48 or 60- foot wide ROW,
- Collectors from 64 or 66-foot to 76-foot wide ROW,
- Minor arterials from 76-foot to 100-foot wide ROW, and
- Major arterials from 100- foot to 120-foot wide ROW.
-Street components within the ROW such as pavement width, sidewalk width, etc. will be required to meet City standards such as those in the City Engineering Standards.
-The minimum 400-foot long block length would be removed and a maximum 600-foot long block length would be included with some exceptions.
-Every lot must be adjacent to a street ROW.
-Setbacks for waterbody protection have been included
- A 200-foot building setback and 150-foot vegetative buffer for perennial streams and
- A 130-foot building setback and 100-foot vegetative buffer for intermittent streams, wetlands, ponds, lakes, or reservoirs.
-Parkland dedication requirements will be expanded for subdivisions that are zoned B-1, B-2 and B-3, which allow residential uses by right and for minor subdivisions.
-Other amendments to this chapter include reorganizing sections, making changes to be consistent with other proposed changes in this Title, and clarification.
The ordinance amending Chapter 5 includes language clarifying park dedication.
The amendments to Chapter 6 contain language for clarification such as planning division to community development.
The Chapter has been deleted and applicable information is moved to Chapter 2.