The Montana Land Use Planning Act (MLUPA) established during the 2023 Montana Legislative Session with passage of Montana Senate Bill 382, provides for the establishment of a Planning Commission, as a stand-alone Planning Commission, a combined multi-jurisdictional board, or by the designation of an legally authorized board (planning board, coning commission, or board of adjustment) in existence prior to the enactment of SB 382.
The City of Helena is moving toward the creation of, by resolution(PDF, 411KB), a new Planning Commission for the City. Upon full implementation and compliance with the MLUPA, the Planning Commission will be created by ordinance with all the roles and responsibilities outlined in the act – combining the functions of a traditional planning board with the functions and responsibilities of the zoning commission and board of adjustments.
Initially, this board will be tasked with the development, adoption, review, and approval of a new Land Use Plan and Future Land Use Map, updating the City zoning regulations and zoning map, and updating the subdivision regulations. Once fully established and all the requirements of the MLUPA being met, the Planning Commission will be not only tasked with the amendments to these documents but also with hearing and deciding on appeals from any site-specific land use decisions made by the City Planning Administrator.