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Should Gallatin County, Montana Remove Development Values Through Strict Zoning?

The Gallatin County, Montana county commissioners contemplate Gallatin County, MT zoning as the means to manage both future and present growth. With close to an 11 percent increase in the county's population since 2000, protection of the region's agricultural legacy and preservation of its natural beauty are intrinsic to retaining the appeal that keeps people visiting and relocating to Gallatin County, which is seated in Bozeman, Montana.

Photo-Alex Diekmann, Trust for Public LandIt's a toss up as to whether Gallatin's countywide zoning regulations throughout the Gallatin Valley will have much of an impact on southwest Montana rancher's and farmer's property; regulation details are in the process of being hammered out and could take a while longer because opposing sides see zoning coming from opposite directions: one side thinks zoning should be top down, the other side believes zoning needs to be bottom up; thus the slow progression.

Parceling of Gallatin County land into smaller properties, which the more recent residents now live on, occurred prior to passage of Montana's subdivision review requirements in 1973:

"a division of land or land so divided that it creates one or more parcels containing less than 160 acres that cannot be described as a one-quarter aliquot part of a US government section, exclusive of public roadways, in order that the title to or possession of the parcels may be sold, rented, leased, or otherwise conveyed and includes any resubdivision and further includes a condominium or area, regardless of its size, that provides or will provide multiple spaces for recreational camping vehicles or mobile homes."

Many Gallatin Valley residents have placed their Montana land into conservation easements, which amounts to having already cashed their transfer development development rights. The question is what about those who haven't decided what to do with their land? Should they have the same possibilities with cashing in on their southwest Montana land as those who have profited in the past?

Intelligent growth and property rights and keeping the balance between the two is a touchy subject in the southwest Montana region, which has lost a wealth of large Montana farms and Montana dairies recently. The question remains, "Should Gallatin County County remove potential land development values through strict county zoning?"

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Taunya Fagan Prudential Montana Real Estate     406.579.9683    taunya.fagan@prumt.com

Above Photo by Alex Diekmann, Trust for Public Land

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0 commentsTaunya Fagan • January 20 2008 03:50PM
Should Gallatin County, Montana Remove Development Values Through…
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The Gallatin County, Montana county commissioners contemplate Gallatin County, MT zoning as the means to manage both future and present growth. With close to an 11 percent increase in the county's population since 2000, protection of the region's… more