Belgrade Area Zoning Regulation

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Did you know there is an Extraterritorial Planning Area surrounding the City of Belgrade?

This 4.5 mile area surrounding the City of Belgrade is located outside city limits, but is connected to the city in many ways. Although the Extraterritorial Planning Area was established in 1975, it has remained largely un-zoned. Taking steps to ensure that development of this area aligns with Belgrade's vision is important for the future of the community.

State law recognizes that good planning doesn’t always follow municipal boundaries and allows the authority of a city-county planning board to extend into areas both inside an incorporated city boundary and in “contiguous unincorporated area outside the city”. As development continues to occur inside the City of Belgrade, the impacts and pressures can extend outside city limits into the adjacent planning area.

The intent of the Belgrade Area Zoning Regulation is to provide Gallatin County and the City of Belgrade an opportunity to look at how development is taking place in this area, identify what is working and what is not, and to work together to create a regulation that will ease any adverse impacts and pressures. The regulation can also create a framework to help the city and county adequately plan for the provision of services and infrastructure for the future.


So, what is zoning?

Zoning is a regulatory framework designed to implement a community vision and minimize adverse impacts. Zoning regulations are designed to ensure that as new development occurs, it is consistent with and will help a community achieve its vision for the future.





Did you know there is an Extraterritorial Planning Area surrounding the City of Belgrade?

This 4.5 mile area surrounding the City of Belgrade is located outside city limits, but is connected to the city in many ways. Although the Extraterritorial Planning Area was established in 1975, it has remained largely un-zoned. Taking steps to ensure that development of this area aligns with Belgrade's vision is important for the future of the community.

State law recognizes that good planning doesn’t always follow municipal boundaries and allows the authority of a city-county planning board to extend into areas both inside an incorporated city boundary and in “contiguous unincorporated area outside the city”. As development continues to occur inside the City of Belgrade, the impacts and pressures can extend outside city limits into the adjacent planning area.

The intent of the Belgrade Area Zoning Regulation is to provide Gallatin County and the City of Belgrade an opportunity to look at how development is taking place in this area, identify what is working and what is not, and to work together to create a regulation that will ease any adverse impacts and pressures. The regulation can also create a framework to help the city and county adequately plan for the provision of services and infrastructure for the future.


So, what is zoning?

Zoning is a regulatory framework designed to implement a community vision and minimize adverse impacts. Zoning regulations are designed to ensure that as new development occurs, it is consistent with and will help a community achieve its vision for the future.





  • Public Input Session Summary

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    A public input session regarding the Belgrade Area Zoning Regulation was held on Wednesday, October 7 that was well-attended (42 participants!). The recording can be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/466248665

    Slides from the presentation can be downloaded under the "resources" tab on the right side of the Belgrade Area Zoning Regulation page.

    Meeting Summary

    The project team presented on what zoning is, why the Belgrade Planning Area is being zoned and what previous and concurrent planning efforts are influencing the future zone districts and zoning map. Meeting participants had the chance to weigh in on what we've heard thus far through public engagement and tell the project team what was missing. Affordable housing was brought up by meeting participants as an important part of the conversation that hadn't been discussed yet.

    Many great questions were asked during the Q&A. Below are some of the highlights:

    Q: I am wondering what the considerations will be for traffic patterns as well as sewer, utilities infrastructure that goes along with the growth and zoning.

    A: We spoke to the water and sewer districts in our stakeholder interviews and discussed where the infrastructure exists now and where they would like it to be extended in the future. The effort to create a regulation and identify where density and development may be most appropriate will definitely be linked to the plans that those districts have in place.

    Q: What is a stakeholder?

    A: When we use the term we mean it very broadly, Stakeholders include landowners, business owners, folks that are interested in affordable housing issues, folks who are interested in natural resource preservation, and simply citizens of the area who have a stake in what comes out of this effort.

    Q: Concerned about roads through to Manhattan? Are bike paths included to possibly link up with what has been already created in adjoining communities?

    A: Zoning doesn't really address trails specifically. With any utility (water, sewer, traffic), we zone things where we think the infrastructure is going to go or where the road network is. So for example, we would zone along Jackrabbit Lane differently than we would zone something along Hulbert Road. Those improvements come through other processes - the City did adopt a long-range transportation plan which shows future bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, and that plan includes a recommendation for a path going towards Manhattan, the problem is getting one along the Frontage Rd corridor is really tricky because there's railroad right of way and the railroad isn't typically very cooperative, and getting someone to pay for it is really hard. We'd like to connect 3 Forks all the way to Bozeman through a trail network but it's going to happen painfully slowly and piece by piece. There is an effort to create a trails master plan in the Triangle area, so once it's on a plan, when a subdivision comes in we can point to it and say "you have to build this chunk of trail across the front of your property because it's in our adopted plan"

    Q: is the airport under its own zoning and also future airport expansion?

    A: The airport is under the City's zoning, most of the airport's property is zoned "PLI" - Public Lands and Institutions. That zoning allows any airport use as a permitted use. The airport is not in the City limits, and it is its own independent governing entity. They're governed by their own board, they're not a municipal airport, they're their own airport authority. So we don't have a lot of control over things like terminal expansion, hangars, rental cars, as long as it's airport-related it's allowed under the zoning.

    Q: Was there input on the importance (or not important) to keep separation between communities - i.e. having a transition between belgrade and bozeman? is this being considered?

    A: It is in the Triangle Plan which we are using as a guiding document for this effort. It's also brought up in the Growth Policy where we encourage growth in and directly surrounding Belgrade and preserve the agricultural land. One of the goals of the triangle plan was to have development contiguous with development and have open space in between.

    Q: I was wondering if you could address infrastructure, specifically Jackrabbit. As a community member, there has been a lot of talk about expanding Jackrabbit to 4 lanes, and potentially creating an underpass. Is this on the zoning plan or is this through the Montana Department of Transportation? With the new elementary school opening Fall of 2021, this infrastructure needs to be addressed sooner than later.

    A: The zoning wouldn't address this specifically. Jackrabbit is a state highway, so it's MDT, we are going to the Highway Commission right now to get approval to put it on the schedule for a railroad underpass on Jackrabbit. It's already in the queue to widen it to 5 lanes but it may be delayed if the railroad underpass idea is approved. What they don't have is the money for it so that would all have to be raised, probably from federal dollars like we did with the East Belgrade i-90 interchange.

    Q: Can you make existing zoning codes more stringent? For example, the PLI zone?

    A: The current zoning effort is for areas located outside of City limits. The current PLI zoning designation is under the City code. An additional planning project will take place later next year but right now what we're considering is those areas that are unzoned. Part of that consideration is to look at the current zone districts that are in place in the area and what is working and what isn't working and how can they be tweaked.

    Q: Talking about affordable housing, so many homes in Belgrade (especially by the high school area) have split levels. will the zoning allow the home owners to rent their downstairs?

    A: I think what you're getting at is whether or not rentals will be allowed in the zoning districts and allowing rentals as a permitted use within the new zone districts is definitely something we will keep in mind. Right now we have not identified any specific uses that will be prohibited or allowed in the Planning Jurisdiction but that's part of why we're having these conversations. The planning nerd term for that is Accessory Dwelling Unit and that's a discussion we will have in our City zoning code with the City Council. It was looked at several years ago and turned down by City Council. They happen whether you allow them or not quite often in reality.



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  • Public Input Session Scheduled!

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    Wednesday, October 7 12pm - 1pm

    Please join us (virtually) to discuss the future zoning of the Belgrade Area Zoning Regulation! We want to hear from you about your concerns for land use, growth, transportation and housing in the area surrounding the City of Belgrade.

    Zoom link: https://cushingterrell.zoom.us/j/98003147329?pwd=NHpCb0UwTE1HY3NMMmFFcjZEK2VlUT09

    Password: 338169

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    Meeting ID: 980 0314 7329

  • Input Thus Far

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    Thanks to all who have engaged with us up to this point and given input! We have sorted through everyone's comments from all input channels and the following themes have emerged as most commonly mentioned:

    1. Preserve open space, prevent sprawl, help farmers keep their land undeveloped
    2. Zoning is a good thing and is needed in the planning area to control growth
    3. Need for more recreational trails and bike paths in the planning area that connect to downtown
    4. Industrial uses that exist near residences are not compatible
    5. Avoid dense housing developments like River Rock
    6. Prevent more gravel pits from locating in the planning area
    7. Prevent development without connection to water/sewer
    8. Traffic issues come with dense developments like River Rock
    9. Need for more restaurants and retail in the planning area (not just concentrated downtown)
    10. Need for Dark Skies policy to prevent light pollution

    We are now working on creating draft zone districts and will be holding a public meeting to get input on the draft map in the next month.

  • Look for us at the Farmer's Market in July!

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    The Be Heard Belgrade team will have a booth at the Farmer's Market every Thursday in July! We'll be looking for your input on the Belgrade Area Zoning Regulation and future land use in the area surrounding the City of Belgrade. Stop by and give your input!

  • Check back here for updates!

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    The News Feed is where we will post project updates, survey results and public meeting summaries. Content coming soon!

Page last updated: 17 October 2021, 13:54