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Resolution 2016-02, Authorize Counties to Approve Phased Subdivisions


It is the intent of the Montana Association of Counties to seek and/or support legislation authorizing phasing in the Montana Subdivision and Platting Act.

WHEREAS, in Bitterrooters for Planning, Inc. v. Board of Ravalli County Comm'rs, et al., DV-2013-372/53, Judge Haynes voided  the  Ravalli  County  Board  of  County  Commissioner's conditional preliminary plat approval for Legacy Ranch and voided phasing in subdivisions that exceed the three year statutory limitation for preliminary plat approvals; and

WHEREAS, the Montana Subdivision and Platting Act does not authorize the use of phasing in subdivisions; and

WHEREAS, it is beneficial to look at a development as a whole; and

WHEREAS, infrastructure is expensive and required before a plat can be filed; and

WHEREAS, developing a subdivision in phases allows a developer to master plan the property and plan for the needed infrastructure to serve all phases of development; and

WHEREAS, without the authority for counties to approve phased subdivisions, developers are forced to propose several smaller subdivisions so they can afford to install the required infrastructure before filing the final plat; and

WHEREAS, large developments with approved phasing plans allow the planning board, county commissioners, and the public to review the proposal in its entirety.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Montana Association of Counties will seek and/or support legislation amending the Montana Subdivision and Platting Act to grant counties the authority to approve phased subdivisions.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that county subdivision regulations may provide for additional public participation of phased subdivisions as determined by the Board of County Commissioners.

2016 ACTION

SPONSOR:  MACo Land Use, Planning & Development Committee
REFERRED TO: MACo Membership (Late/Emergency Resolution)
ADOPTED:  Annual Conference, Billings, MT, September 21, 2016