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.

Capital Hill Neighborhood Proposed Overlay

Capital Hill Neighborhood Proposed Overlay

The City of Helena is considering the creation of an overlay zoning district for the Capital Hill Mall area, generally including properties surrounding 11th and Prospect Avenues between North Montana and the I-15 interchange. This proposed zoning change comes from the recently updated 2019 Growth Policy which spoke to the need for improvements to streetscaping and connectivity, increased density with development and the promotion of mixed use development, and updates to zoning and/or development standards to help promote increased density, among other goals and objectives. The proposed overlay district would address improvements to streetscaping along street fronts and promote denser infill and redevelopment opportunities in a manner consistent with the 2019 City of Helena Growth Policy and the Capital Hill Mall Urban Renewal District Plan, and serve as a first iteration of zoning changes ahead of a more exhaustive neighborhood planning effort.

The City Zoning Commission has taken the vision from the 2019 Growth Policy as a basis for establishing heightened development standards for the district. These standards focus on zoning changes in six key areas: (1) lot coverage allowances, (2) setback requirements, (3) height changes, (4) parking space requirements, and (5) general landscaping and buffer requirements, and (6) parking lot landscaping requirements.  The proposed entryway corridor overlay district code language will not have any impact to the baseline zoning districts' allowed uses as presented in Title 11, Chapter 2 of City Code. All existing developments and those with approved building plans will be grandfathered with this proposal.  

To refine the standards proposed, the city will be holding stakeholder meetings to vet the draft concepts associated with each of the six areas noted. Below is the schedule of stakeholder events to take place in late February:

Small Stakeholder Sessions, Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  1. Stakeholder Session for Architects at 11:00 AM: or join by phone at 1(346) 248-7799; Meeting Id: 956 4127 5323.
  2. Stakeholder Session for Engineers at 1:00 PM: or join by phone at 1(346) 248-7799; Meeting Id: 956 4127 5323.

Public Information Session, Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 5:30 PM – This meeting has been noticed to real property owners located within and 150 from the proposed overlay district boundary, and is opened to all interested parties via Zoom: or join by phone at 1(346) 248-7799; Meeting Id: 956 4127 5323.

A copy of the PowerPoint presentation for these meetings can be located here.

Click here to view the proposed language for the Capital Hill Neighborhood Overlay.

For more inforation regarding this project please contact either Ellie Ray, Planner II at (406) 447-8491 or email, or contact Hillary Taylor, Planner II at (406) 447-8448 or email

To view a larger PDF of the Map below, click here.

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 or call (406) 447-8492.

Conceptual Designs (PDF)

1st Draft Plan for Renewal Vision for Cruse Avenue (PDF)

2nd Draft Plan for Renewal Vision for Cruse Avenue (PDF)

Final Plan for Renewal Vision for Cruse Avenue (PDF)

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.

  • May 26, 2020
  • May 27, 2020
  • May 28, 2020
  • July 22, 2020
  • July 23, 2020

Capital Hill Urban Renewal District (URD)

Capital Hill Urban Renewal District (URD)

The City of Helena has created the Capital Hill Urban Renewal Area (URA) with Tax Increment Financing (TIF) provisions.  Below is the Statement of Blight for the Capital Hill Area.  The area is a general rectangular shape beginning one block north of Prospect Avenue, extending one block south of 11th Street, bounded to the west by N. Dakota Street and to the east by I-15, including several hotel parcels around the highway interchange. It also includes the Samuel V. Stewart Homes development managed by the Helena Housing Authority, located on a block bounded by Billings Avenue, Butte Avenue, Montana Avenue, and Roberts Street (see the map below).

For additional information, please contact the City Community Development Department at the City of Helena, 316 N. Park Avenue, Room 445, Helena, MT 59623, phone (406) 447-8490, or email

    Related Documents:

    1. Final Capital Hill Area Urban Renewal Plan (PDF)
    2. Capital Hill TIF Fact Sheet (PDF)
    3. Capital Hill URD Boundary Legal Description (PDF)
    4. Statement of Blight for the Capital Hill Area (PDF)
    5. Planning Board Recommendation Memo (PDF)

    Click here to view a larger image of the map below.

    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 (ZC) 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.

    Timeline of Events

    February 11, 2020 - Zoning Commission work session for a comprehensive review of the definitions found in Title 11.

    April 14, 2020 - Zoning Commission examined findings from Title 11 definitions review and preliminary edits to the land use table.

    July 23, 2020 - Stakeholders were asked to review and provide comments on the drafted updates to definitions and land use table.  To view the recorded meeting, visit our YouTube channel at

    August 11, 2020 - Zoning Commission work session to review the proposed changes to the Land Use Chart, and the Definitions.  This is proposed to be the final work session prior to a public hearing. To view the recorded meeting, visit our YouTube channel at

    August 27, 2020 - City staff released updated drafts for proposed changes to the Land Use Chart and Definitions Chapter.  These proposed changes have been provided below (under Related Documents) for additional comment and questions.

    December 8, 2020 - Zoning Commission Work Session to review the proposed Ordinance regarding changes to the definitions. The full agenda can be found here.  This meeting will take place at 5:30 PM via the Zoom information below.


    Join Zoom Meeting:

    Meeting ID: 929 8930 0533

    Dial in by Phone at: 1(346) 248-7799

    Or, Find your local number:


    Related Documents:

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

      The Center for Mental Health

      The Center for 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 entails 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 owned by the Center for Mental Health and once contained two blighted structures, both of which were demolished at the start of construction activities in the spring of 2020 to make way for the new home. Construction activities are on-going 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.