Current Projects

The City Community Development Department is actively working on the following projects.  Click on the projects below to learn more about upcoming hearings and how you can get involved.

Cruse Avenue Revisioning

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 Michael McConnell, Planner II with the City's Community Development Department at mmcconnell@helenamt.gov or call (406) 447-8492.

Current Conceptual Designs (PDF)


Upcoming Public Meetings

The City of Helena Planning Division will be hosting a series of Public Meetings begining Tuesday, May 26th from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM via the Zoom Meetings virtual platform to discuss the Redevelopment of Cruse Avenue.  Members of the public may join online or by dialing in by phone.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/2396500143?pwd=aVZrMitETHNJMEhuN3VzczN4YTFUZz09 

Meeting ID: 239 650 0143
Password: 094344

Dial in by your location:
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Or, Find your local number at: https://zoom.us/u/aTPihSBvk 


ADA NOTICE

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:

Phone: (406) 447- 8490

TTY Relay Service 1-800-253-4091 or 711

Email: citycommunitydevelopment@helenamt.gov

2019 City of Helena Growth Policy Update

2019 City of Helena Growth Policy Update

The City of Helena, in its efforts to provide a more inclusive, dynamic and vibrant community, has chosen to undertake certain long-range planning activities including a Growth Policy update. This guiding document provides a road map for the management of growth within and adjacent to the city limits. The City hopes that this along with other adopted documents can provide residents, staff, and investors with the tools they need to better understand the City and how to best navigate the development process.

Below you will find the latest draft of the Growth Policy. This is the version that was presented at the Planning Board Public Hearing on Wednesday, November 6, at 6pm in the Council Chambers. 

Upcoming Events:

  • March 9th - City Commission Meeting, Resolution of Intent (6:00 PM in the City Commission Chambers of the City-County Building located at 316 N. Park Ave, Helena)
  • March 23rd - City Commission Meeting, Final Public Hearing (6:00 PM in the City Commission Chambers of the City-County Building located at 316 N. Park Ave, Helena)

If you have questions, please call (406) 447-8492 or email mmcconnell@helenamt.gov.

Update to Land Use Chart & Associated Definitions

Update to Land Use Chart & Associated Definitions

The Community Development Department for the City of Helena is updating and revising the use chart found in Chapter 2-Land Uses of Title 11 of the Helena City Code.  This task will include a comprehensive look at the definitions in Title 11.  Staff is meeting with the Zoning Commission in work sessions to go over the proposed changes to the definitions in Title 11, and the land use chart in Chapter 2-Land Uses of Title 11.

On February 11, 2020 the Helena Zoning Commission will hold a work session to do a comprehensive review of the definitions that can be found in various chapters in Title 11.  Specifically, this will address definitions found in fourteen (14) different chapters in Title 11 of the Helena City Code but the discussion will focus primarily on the land use definitions.

Related Documents:

The meeting was held in room 226 of the City County Building located at address 316 N. Park Avenue at 5:30 PM. 

On April 14, 2020 the City of Helena Zoning Commission will receive an update on staff work to begin a comprehensive review of the definitions that can be found in various chapters in Title 11.  Specifically, this will address definitions found in fourteen (14) different chapters in Title 11 of the Helena City Code.  Additionally, the Zoning Commission will receive a copy of the land use table that has preliminary edits proposed by staff.  The current land use chart can be found in Section 11-2-3 of the Helena City Code.  Both the proposed update to the definitions and the proposed changes to the land use chart can be below.

Related Documents:

For more information please contact Hillary Taylor at the City of Helena at (406) 447-8448, or by email at htaylor@helenamt.gov.   If you would like to be kept informed and placed on an emailing list, please send an email to the address above.

Dimensional Standards Update

Dimensional Standards Update

On January 13, 2020, the City Commission adopted an ordinance pertaining to increases to some district dimensional standards in residential districts. The expectation of the Commission is that these code changes will help increase housing unit density at a time when rental and homeowner housing stock availability and unit costs are far outstripped by market demand. The changes made to the Title 11, Chapter 2 of the city code are as follows:

  1. Increase lot coverage allowance in the R-1 and R-2 (Residential) Districts from 30% with an additional 5% for a porch to 40%.
  2. Increase the maximum height allowances as follows:
    • R-1/R-2 (Residential) Districts increase from 24 feet to 30 feet
    • R-3 (Residential) District increase from 24 feet to 36 feet
    • R-4 (Residential) and R-O (Residential-Office) increase from 36 feet to 42 feet
    • B-2 (General Commercial District) increase from 42 feet to 75 feet
  3. Remove lot area requirements as follows:
    • R-3 (Residential) District from 2,000 square feet per dwelling unit for multiple dwelling units to zero (0) square feet
    • R-4 (Residential)/R-O (Residential-Office) Districts from 1,200 square feet per dwelling unit for multiple dwelling units to zero (0) square feet

The adopted ordinance is available to view here.  For any questions on these dimensional standards changes, please contact Ellie Ray, City Planner II and Grants Coordinator at eray@helenamt.gov or call (406) 447-8490.

The Center of Mental Health

The Center of Mental Health

The City of Helena was awarded a Public and Community Facilities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Montana Department of Commerce in 2017 on behalf of the Center for Mental Health. This project will entail the construction of a group home for up to 12 individuals leaving the state mental health hospital (or similar facilities) to help stabilize them and reintegrate them into community life. The facility will provide round-the-clock support from staff and will be located within a block of the Center’s main Helena facility. 

The property being utilized for this project, 24 E. 16th in downtown Helena (at the intersections of 16th and Jackson), is currently owned by the Center for Mental Health and has two blighted structures on it, both of which will be demolished to make way for the new home. Demolition and construction activities are planned to start in mid-April, and the new group home is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2020. Design for it has been extremely thoughtful in ensuring that the new home will appear wholly residential to better blend in with the surrounding neighborhood.  Questions regarding this project can be directed to the City Community Development Department at citycommunitydevelopment@helenamt.govor by calling (406) 447-8490.