Growth Policy Meeting 01/20/21

January 13, 2021
TO: City of Livingston Planning Board
FROM: Mathieu Menard, City of Livingston Planning Department
SUBJECT: Scheduled Growth Policy Meeting #1- ETJ and Maps

Background: At the January 6, 2021, meeting of the Planning Board, the Planning Board set a tentative schedule to meet every two weeks, or every Wednesday on the week of the Commission Meetings, until April to review the Draft Growth Policy. Sections of the Growth Policy have been scheduled to be discussed at each meeting, subject to change. City Staff has provided a strikethrough-underline version of the Draft Growth Policy for the Planning Board to work from. The items scheduled to be discussed at the January 20th meeting are the Extra-territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and the Maps included in the draft. This memo will only discuss these items, and in the interest of time and remaining on schedule Staff highly suggests that the Planning Board not discuss any items beyond what is on the schedule at the meeting and limit public comment to these items.

Editing Process: In editing the Draft Growth Policy, City Staff reviewed and went through all of the written board and public comment line-by-line in making edits, clarifications, and additions to the Draft. This does not mean that Staff has made every edit suggested, nor are all the edits suggested made verbatim in the document. The intention of providing the Staff edited Draft is to provide a public forum to gather public and board input on the changes that staff has suggested. Staff is more than happy to discuss why changes were made (or not made) or why the specific language was used. The goal is to provide a completely transparent process moving forward with the Draft Growth Policy through public Planning Board meetings. The staff has made edits specifically to be responsive to comments received but desires to continue to provide a forum to ensure our understanding and translation of those comments into the Draft Growth Policy represents the desires of the community.

Changes to Maps and ETJ (Appendix A): Staff has made several additional edits to the Draft Growth Policy from the draft the Planning Board was provided in December, based on additional comments received. The majority of these comments were directed towards Chapters 3 & 4, the ETJ, and the Maps. The discussion of changes will be limited to changes made to the ETJ and Maps.
• The “Future Growth Areas” map, Exhibit 3.4 and Exhibit 2.7 of the ETJ, has been retitled “Areas Facing Development Pressure” to more clearly indicate that the Growth Policy is not encouraging growth in these areas, but rather that the City is aware that there has been interest from private parties in developing the areas.
• Mayor’s Landing and Vista View Mobile Home Park have been removed from the aforementioned maps as they are not facing development pressure. Vista View Mobile Home Park is either in the process of, or has recently become occupant-owned and is not slated for redevelopment and Mayor’s Landing is an existing city park.
• Included in the December edits were updates to the Future Land Use Map (FLUM), Exhibit 11.1, as follows:
o Expansion of the Central Business District land use type.
o Update of the area south of Park St. adjacent to downtown to be shown as High-Density Residential.
• The “Yellowstone Preserve” parcel has been changed to “Low-Density Residential” land use on the FLUM to recognize the significant constraints to development in the area.
• The detailed FLUM, Exhibit 11.2, has been updated to match the FLUM, Exhibit 11.1.
• The land use category of “Very Low-Density Residential” has been changed to “Agriculture/ Very Low-Density Residential” on the ETJ FLUM, Exhibit 2.8, to indicate that the intent is to protect and encourage agricultural uses in the ETJ.
• The two large areas of undeveloped land west of Green Acres and Discovery Vista Subdivisions shown as “Medium Density Residential” have been changed to “Agricultural/ Very Low-Density Residential” on the ETJ FLUM to encourage infill and discourage growth of the City beyond it’s current City Limits as expressed in public comment and to be consistent with the updated Goals of the Draft Growth Policy.
• The words “within planned future growth areas and” have been removed from Strategy 3.1.2 of the ETJ in response to public comment as there are no future growth areas. The strategy now reads- “encourage new development in areas that are already zoned or subdivided at urban densities in the planning area”.
• Strategy 3.1.8 and 3.1.9 were added in the December updates in response to public comment.
• Strategy 3.1.10, “Require annexation prior to the subdivision of any parcel in the ETJ” has been added in response to public comment.

Changes Not Made Between December and January and Why we Must Address Areas Outside of City Limits: Friends of Park County has made comments that the ETJ FLUM and Areas Facing Development Pressure maps be deleted. City Staff believes that this would hamper future planning in the ETJ and the change has not been made at this time.

There has been a significant amount of public comment from Friends of Park County and others stating that the Growth Policy should prevent the expansion of the City and not allow development beyond City Limits. By extension, there have been several comments that the Growth Policy should not show future land use in this area. Due to existing Montana State Law, a Growth Policy is non-regulatory and “A governing body may not withhold, deny, or impose conditions on any land use approval or other authority to act based solely on compliance with a growth policy” (76-1-605(2)(a-b) MCA). This means that the Growth Policy cannot dictate that there is no growth that can occur beyond City Limits or set any type of growth boundary as would be allowed in other states (Oregon is a prime example). What the Growth Policy can and should do is provide a guide on how the City should regulate those areas, as it is in the regulations that land use controls are implemented in Montana, not in the plan. Currently, the ETJ section of the Draft Growth Policy recommends that the City should pursue zoning in the ETJ and explore accompanying Subdivision Regulation updates to achieve the goals of the Growth Policy, additionally strengthening of the Annexation Policy is suggested in the Draft Growth Policy. The ETJ FLUM makes it very clear to the public and the City Planners that the rural areas of the ETJ should be zoned for agriculture and very low density uses (essentially, as the ETJ is currently used) providing a guide for any future zoning processes that may occur in the ETJ. If this map is removed the City has not provided any guidance to how zoning standards should be applied to those areas. One of the primary criteria in State Statute is that zoning is adopted in consistency with an adopted growth policy, so not having a FLUM or not thoroughly addressing areas outside of current City Limits significantly hampers our ability to zone the ETJ in the future. To address growth outside of City Limits the Growth Policy needs to guide future ETJ zoning, Zoning Ordinance updates, Subdivision Regulation updates, and Annexation Policy updates. To not address areas outside of the City does not mean no growth, but rather is an abdication of the City’s ability to plan the ETJ.

Join this discussion:
Wednesday, January 20, 2021, at 5:30 p.m.


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