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! ACTION NEEDED ! HB 182 - Contact Representatives & URGE Opposition


Posted Date: 
January 28, 2015

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UPDATE:  HB 182 died on the House Floor today on a 41-59 vote during its second Third Reading after being revived January 28 on a 54-46 vote.

Please contact your Representatives IMMEDIATELY regarding HB 182, Require that zoning be adopted before use of land can be regulated (carried by Representative Forrest Mandeville).  It was revived on the House Floor today on 54-46 vote (click link to see how your Representative voted) after it had died yesterday on a 50-50 vote  (click link to see how your Representative voted) on third reading.   HB 182 will again have a third reading tomorrow (Thursday, January 29), so we need to act fast.

Contact your legislator by clicking here.

HB 182 requires that counties either zone property before the property can be subdivided or the counties cannot consider a proposed use (agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, RV/mobile home park, work camp) for the subdivision during subdivision review.  The only way counties will be able to review a subdivision if they do not zone the property before subdivision review is to consider all possible uses and impose the most stringent design standards.  For example, if the property might possibly be used for commercial or industrial and the county’s design standards for roads, fire suppression, etc. are more stringent for commercial or industrial uses than for residential uses, the county will have to impose the more stringent design standards because the county will not know what the use of the subdivision property may be.  This will make development more expensive for the developer as well as making it more difficult for the adjoining landowners to comment on the subdivision because the adjoining landowners will not know what the use of the subdivision is intended to be.  The Montana Subdivision & Platting Act is premised on the developer designating a use for the property and without this designation, the process will be slower and more expensive for developers and the right of public participation will be thwarted. 

The Sponsor of this bill has repeatedly stated that counties cannot enforce the “use” of the subdivision after final plat.  This is an inaccurate statement of the law.  No Court has had this issue squarely before it and there is no Court holding that states that counties cannot enforce the use of the subdivision that the developer designates.

HB 182 will needlessly increase development costs, thwart public participation in the subdivision review process, affect private property rights, increase the time and costs for counties to review subdivisions, and most likely result in increased litigation for the counties. 

Please contact your representatives and explain to them why they should vote NO on third reading of HB 182 tomorrow, January 29th.