Helena Downtown Urban Renewal District Update

Moving Forward with a Downtown URD

On October 29, 2018 the Helena City Commission moved forward with the establishment of the Downtown Urban Renewal District (DURD), with final passage of Ordinance 3242, creating the district, establishing its boundaries, and formally adopting the Downtown Urban Renewal District Plan, inclusive of a tax increment provision in accordance with state statute (MCA 7-15-42 and 7-15-43). The City Commission ultimately wishes to utilize Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to finance improvements in the District that will incentivize private development and promote a more vibrant downtown. The Montana Department of Revenue will now be provided with the adopted DURD Plan and associated ordinance in order to proceed with calculating the taxable values of property in the district in the creation of a tax increment financing provision for the district.

The establishment of the DURD follows a year of effort to create the district. In November 2017, the City contracted with WGM Group for technical assistance on the effort. Following that, a report documenting blight conditions was completed and a public meeting was held in March. In May, the City Commission adopted a “Resolution of Necessity” for creating the URD. The “Statement of Blight” report and “Resolution of Necessity” are required steps in the process of adopting a URD. Once that was complete, city staff and the consultant team from WGM held an event to consider public comment before finalizing the URD plan and taking it to the City Commission for its final decision on adoption.

If you have any questions regarding this project or would like to be placed on an email list for future notification’s concerning this District, please contact Sharon Haugen, Community Development Director, as listed above.

If you have any questions regarding this project or would like to be placed on an email list for future notification’s concerning this District, please contact Sharon Haugen, Community Development Director, at 447-8445 or shaugen(at)helenamt.gov.


Additional Information


Helena Downtown Urban Renewal District - Timeline




Downtown Helena urban renewal begins in historic core


Great Northern urban renewal initiated


Historic core and Great Northern combined into one single Urban Renewal District (URD)


Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the downtown URD concludes


City adopts current Growth Policy


City amends Growth Policy with Downtown Master Plan


City begins implementing the Downtown Master Plan with zoning update and steps toward a new URD with TIF provision




Draft Statement of Blight released for proposed URD


Public Meeting Held to discuss proposed URD and Statement of Blight


City finalizes Statement of Blight and Commission adopts “Resolution of Necessity”


Draft URD Plan released


Public Meeting held on Draft URD Plan


Planning Board Review for Compliance with Growth Policy


City Commission Public Hearing


City Commission Decision on creation of Downtown URD – first reading


City Commission Decision – second reading




The City of Helena is committed to providing access to persons with disabilities for its meetings, in compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Montana Human Rights Act. The City will not exclude persons with disabilities from participation at its meetings or otherwise deny them the City’s services, programs, or activities. Persons with disabilities requiring accommodations to participate in the city’s meetings, services, programs, or activities should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Ellie Ray, as soon as possible to allow sufficient time to arrange for the requested accommodation, at any of the following: (406) 447-8490, TTY Relay Service 1-800-253-4091 or 711, citycommunitydevelopment(at)helenamt.gov, 316 North Park, Avenue, Room 445, Helena, MT 59623.

To request an alternate information format for the information on this page, please contact the Community Development Department/Planning Division at: Voice: 406-447-8490 | TTY: 1-800-253-4091|Relay: 711 Email: citycommunitydevelopment(at)helenamt.gov.