Learning Resources

Informed and active residents are the “civic infrastructure” needed for managing growth.

Below are links to important resources that will help you understand and contribute to the management of our County’s growth.

Here are some core resources specifically related to Park County:

The state of Montana has published Growth Policy Resource Books updates every decade or so:

Land Use Controls in Montana

An analysis of factors affecting policy adoption of countywide zoning policy adoption of countywide zoning [2006] (126 pages).

Opportunity Zones

Park County has no Opportunity Zones – we never applied.

Two Other Polls Confirm Voters’ Concerns About Sprawl and Willingness to Support Sensible Land Regulations

Two polls of voter opinions are providing independent confirmation of the validity of Friends of Park County’s 2022 poll of Park County voters, that showed a high level of concern about development and a willingness to support sensible land use regulations.

2023 Montana Legislature Round-Up

The 2023 Montana legislature adjourned on May 3. It passed many bills relating to land use and the environment. Important bills are summarized here, grouped under three headings: Bills weakening laws regulating the protections of lands, waters and natural resources from the impacts of rural development, bills removing zoning barriers to higher density and infill housing in cities, and the Montana Land Use Planning Act.

Short Term Rentals: Boon, Bane, Or Both?

Short term rentals (STRs) like AirBnB and VRBO are a hot topic in Park County across Montana, and for good reasons, there are a lot of them and they intersect with even hotter topics, housing costs and the changing character of Montana communites.

As we predicted: A wave of subdivisions and commercial sprawl may be headed toward Park County and the City of Livingston.

In the winter of 2021, newly formed Friends of Park County testified to the County Planning Board that it was only a matter of time before the wave of subdivisions spreading across the Gallatin Valley would wash over the pass and into Park County: We needed sensible land use regulations to avoid the fate of Bozeman and Gallatin County.

Where’s the Data?

Headwaters Economics has conducted extensive studies of southwestern Montana demographics and related economic impacts, one such example is here; Economic Development on the High Divide. And another here; Headwaters-Economics-Park-v-Gallatin-Counties

Future West is another think tank focused on developing economies in the western states region.

A more comprehensive explanation of the zoning process has been prepared by Kelly A. Lynch & Allison Mouch, AICP Community Development Division Montana Department of Commerce 301 S. Park Avenue, P.O. Box 200523 Helena, MT 59620-0523 Phone: 406-841-2598 Fax: 406-841-2771E-mail: [email protected], whose job it is to come to our county and present their program and engage in a Q&A with board members.  Here is their PowerPoint.

2021 Educational Programs

Friends of Park County has launched a series of educational webinars to go into detail on various topics which have significance in the Land Use, Zoning, and Growth planning arenas, you can review past events from our Educational Series here.