Helena Downtown Urban Renewal District July 2018 Update

Moving Forward with a Downtown URD

The Helena City Commission is making progress in establishing a new Urban Renewal District (URD) for downtown.  The City Commission wishes to utilize Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to finance improvements in the District that will incentivize private development and promote a more vibrant downtown.

In November 2017, the City contracted with WGM Group for technical assistance on the effort.  Since that time, a report documenting blight conditions has been 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.  The next steps are to consider public comment, finalize the URD plan, and for City Commission to make a final decision on adoption.

Draft Plan Ready for Public Review

The City is hosting a public meeting to discuss the Draft Plan on July 24, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at the Civic Center Ballroom. 

Comments on the Draft Plan can be submitted until August 17 to:

  • Project Consultant, WGM Group, Anne Cossitt, 406.422.0633, acossitt@wgmgroup.com, or
  • City of Helena, Sharon Haugen, 447-8445, 316 N. Park Avenue, Helena, MT  59623; shaugen(at)helenamt.gov


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.


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, Sharon Haugen, 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.