Land Use Planning & Permitting in Western Montana

Land Use Planning & Permitting

Land Use Planning & Permitting in Western Montana is always a subject with real concerns, for instance a Historic land use being approached with developments that may not have the same concerns.

Sometimes even opposite values and concerns. Normally Historic uses are protected, but with the ever-changing landscape of uses, the resulting social, economic, and practical applications of land use become challenging.

Governing Bodies attempt to alleviate this confrontation by instituting land use Zoning and Regulations. Including Subdivision Regulations that have provisions to help mitigate concerns of all interested parties. These processes are normally attended with many public meetings, incorporating into the process all interested viewpoints.

Ultimately the State and local Governing Body will publish a set of Subdivision Regulations and a review process designed to afford a process that the existing use land owner maintains his rights while allowing a change of use to adjacent properties.

Many Counties also will institute land use zoning regulations, these Regulations are published after extensive work with the Governing Bodies’ Planning Department and the local populace. The Zoning Regulations do facilitate land use continuance or change, but by themselves do not create land divisions or changes of land usage.

The process of land division can be lengthy with multiple applications, concerning both “Montana Subdivision and Platting Act” commonly referred to as “Subdivision” in many cases within the process, application is also made to “Montana Department of Environmental Quality” other agencies may be; Tribal agencies, State DNRC,  and up to 20 or 30 other affected entities that will need to be contacted and potentially concerns mitigated during or before the Subdivision review process.

There are a handful of land division procedures that do not involve Subdivision Review, that do need to meet any applicable zoning Regulations. They include; Court Ordered Partition of property, in certain circumstances one may create and transfer a property to an immediate Family member. A very commonly used Exemption is a Boundary Adjustment, this occurs between existing adjacent properties, and under no circumstances does the final tract count exceed the initial tract count. But acreage may be moved from one owner to another, or it can be used to correct errors in construction of convenience if all parties agree.

This has been a broad brush look into land use planning and permitting, for your individual needs, please contact our offices to discuss your options.


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