Current Growth Policy and Neighborhood Plans

The Growth Policy is the foundational guiding document that establishes the City’s long-term vision. The Planning Division is also actively involved in supporting the efforts of city neighborhoods to develop their own neighborhood plans. These plans are intended to provide a critical examination of neighborhood scale issues that expand on the vision laid out in the City's Growth Policy.

2019 Growth Policy

On June 29th 2020, the Helena City Commission approved the 2019 City of Helena Growth Policy. This update will focus city resources, formalize and facilitate a more robust public process, encourage better coordination with Lewis and Clark County, state agencies and the private sector as well as making the document more user friendly with updated information. A main component of the update is the shift to focusing our growth into “Neighborhood Centers” which is a more place based and contextual development paradigm.

If you have questions, please call (406) 447-8490 or email

Growth Policy Update process materials

Storefront Studio Event

Below are linked materials, including two workshop exercises and a photo archive, from a Storefront Studio participation event held by the City Planning Division on April 3rd-6th.

Activity Centers 1(PDF, 58KB), 2(PDF, 157KB), 3(PDF, 145KB)

Workshop #1: Groups 1(PDF, 10MB), 2(PDF, 25MB), 3(PDF, 24MB), 4(PDF, 22MB), 5(PDF, 24MB)

Workshop #2: Groups 1(PDF, 23MB), 2(PDF, 28MB), 3(PDF, 26MB), 4(PDF, 23MB)

Graffiti Wall 1(PDF, 54MB), 2(PDF, 59MB)

Scenario Boards/Comments 1(PDF, 128KB), 2(PDF, 59MB), 3(PDF, 145KB)

Development and Neighborhoods 1(PDF, 53MB), 2(PDF, 106KB)

Streets and Public Realm 1(PDF, 298KB), 2(PDF, 39MB)

Relevant Planning Documents:


View Frequently Asked Questions(PDF, 24KB)

6th Ward Railroad District Neighborhood Plan

6th Ward Railroad District

The City of Helena is partnering with an experienced planning consultant to complete a neighborhood level plan for the city’s historic 6th Ward Railroad District (also known as Midtowne). The project area will generally follow the URD located there and will likely also include some adjacent areas. The area has been the subject of several planning efforts over the years so an emphasis of this effort will be on implementation and potential funding sources. This effort will be overseen by the City’s Community Development Department staff and adopted as addendum to the 2019 Growth Policy and by both the City/County Planning Board and the City Commission.

The consultant hired for the project, SCJ Alliance, knows Helena well. They produced Helena’s 2019 growth policy. SCJ Alliance has a track record of innovative and inclusive public engagement and the City is excited to see how the public process impacts the project’s direction.

This project is on pace to begin in October and will advertise through the city’s Public Information Officer any upcoming public events or other input opportunities.


Downtown Neighborhood Plan

Downtown Neighborhood Plan

The Downtown Helena Master Plan is the story of a grassroots effort to define, understand, and capture opportunities for the Downtown and the greater Helena community. The Master Plan is an exciting glimpse into the future, and will help Downtown Helena build on past success, leverage its unique sense of place, and prepare for new opportunities to achieve the best potential for this magnificent place.

Below are links to the Downtown Neighborhood Plan and its related appendices.

Cruse Avenue Revisioning

The City, in its efforts to increase economic development opportunities in the Downtown District are seeking to transform one of its most underutilized assets. The Cruse Avenue corridor. In its present form, Cruse Avenue has existed since the Urban Renewal era and was originally envisioned as a bypass from Highway 15 to downtown. This vision was never realized and the remnants are an under utilized and overbuilt downtown right-of-way.

The goal of this significant economic development project is to activate this corridor, remake and revision it seamlessly into the existing downtown district. To provide an amenity to the residents of Helena and Lewis and Clark County as well as an asset to the Downtown District.

As we move through the process, we will house all documents created and information gathered through the public process. For more information regarding this project, please contact the Community Development Department at or call (406) 447-8490.

Public Meetings

The City of Helena's Planning Division hosted public meetings via the Zoom Virtual Meeting platform on the following dates to discuss the Redevelopment of Cruse Avenue. Recordings of these meetings can be found on our City's YouTube channel.