[MissoulaGov] MissoulaGov Digest, Vol 20, Issue 4

Kristin Smith KSmith at wgmgroup.com
Thu Oct 11 13:53:15 MDT 2007


Greetings,

There appears to be an innacurate perception pertaining to the status of
unzoned lands in the City of Missoula. Article 8 of the Missoula City
Zoning Ordinance regulates unzoned lands in the City. So, even though
there may not be a specific zoning designation on a particular property,
labeling the property as unzoned is a misnomer, as there are actually
several performance standards that must be met including setback and
height provisions, as well as four zoning compliance review criteria
pertaining to use. Therefore, in the case of a subdivision being
approved in the city without a particular zoning designation, it would
actually be very difficult to obtain a zoning compliance permit for any
use that was not expressly contemplated as part of the subdivision.

Best,
Kristin

Kristin Smith
Land Use Planner
WGM Group, Inc.
http://www.wgmgroup.com


-----Original Message-----
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Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 11:34 AM
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Subject: MissoulaGov Digest, Vol 20, Issue 4

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Today's Topics:

1. committee update 10-10-07 (Bob Jaffe)
2. Re: committee update 10-10-07 (Geoff Badenoch)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2007 22:19:59 -0600
From: "Bob Jaffe" <bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us>
Subject: [MissoulaGov] committee update 10-10-07
To: <missoulagov at cmslists.com>
Message-ID: <000301c80bbd$fde38510$f9aa8f30$@missoula.mt.us>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Greetings,

This morning we had Ellie Hill from the Poverello Center come in to
discuss recent complaints about unruly homeless people downtown. The
gist of what I got out of the discussion was that ordinances that
further criminalize panhandling are generally not effective. They can?t
pay the tickets and jail doesn?t look so bad for a lot of these folks.
The Poverello is looking to expand their operation to be able to provide
some daytime space and services to give folks a healthier place to hang
around. For various reasons a lot of their clients can not really be
sent off to work. Ellie did like the idea of developing some kind of day
labor service for the clients who could take advantage of that.



Patty Kent from the mental health center also spoke about the need for a
place for the people with substance abuse issues to go. You have to be
sober to go to the Pov. As we all know there are a number of homeless
people who are not getting sober any time soon. In fact, these are most
likely the very folks we are having trouble with.



After the meeting I had the opportunity to speak with Laurie Johnson,
one of the downtown ambassadors working for the business improvement
district. Her take was that there are about 20-25 people who generate
almost all of the complaints. Most of them are not sober.



Maybe we need to look into having a designated drunk zone somewhere
downtown. Someplace they can hang out and have their basic needs met
without being on the doorstep of someone?s business. I think that is the
niche the
3:16 mission tries to fill but they have a containment issue with the
rest of the neighborhood.



I?m very much in favor of providing increased resources to the Pov. But
I?m concerned that we still won?t address the small number of highly
visible homeless folks that really get under the skin of the downtown
merchants.





In conservation we approved some contracts to finish the resurfacing of
all of our tennis courts and to rebuild the fence around the Bonner park
courts.



In PAZ we struggled with a 14 unit subdivision out on the corner of 7th
and Tower. The tough part about this one is the comparable county
zoning is
RLD2 (2 per acre). So we passed the first motion to set the public
hearing to annex and zone at RLD2. The next motion was to set the public
hearing to rezone to RLD4 and approve the subdivision. So really we are
bringing it in at RLD4 (4 per acre). But doing it in two steps makes
sure it at least gets the RLD2 zoning in case the rest of the deal falls
apart. It is considered a bad thing to annex and subdivide with no
zoning. There would be nothing to stop the new neighbors from opening
up a feed lot.

There are also some conflicts with the growth policy in this area. The
policy calls for developing the fringes of town to urban densities when
infrastructure becomes available. But it also still shows the 1970?s map
that calls for ? acre lots out there.

Another issue I would like to see addressed has to do with the
subdivision itself. It divides the site into a near perfect grid of
equal sized lots. I personally don?t really see a big difference
between 2 and 4 per acre.
Neither is open space and neither is high enough density to efficiently
support city services. I am sensitive to the issue of building over the
absolute best soils in the vicinity. I would like to see some emphasis
on clustering in the subdivisions we see out in the Orchard Homes area.
We could get the same or greater densities but at least preserve some of
the ground. If done well this could do more to preserve the character
of the neighborhood than covering the whole area with evenly spread half
acre lots.

I?m not the one designing the thing and I haven?t studied the site
limitations so maybe this is the best they could do. But I?m optimistic
that projects can be designed that reasonably meet the needs of the
developer, the neighborhood, and the community.



In A&F we approved the final agreement between the city, Safeway, and
St.
Pat?s. A lot of people have been working for a really long time to put
this deal together. If I?m remembering all the numbers right it goes
something like this: The city will kick in about $1.5 million to St.
Pats. St. Pats will then prepare the site for Safeway to the tune of
about $3.5 million.
Then Safeway takes over the old shops property and gives St. Pats their
old store property (I don?t know if there is any other consideration for
that property). If the deal goes bad while St. Pats holds the land they
pay back the $1.5 million bond and the city has the right to repurchase
the property for what St. Pats has into it. Once Safeway takes over they
are responsible for paying the bond if the tax increment does not cover
it.



In Public Works we mostly discussed the request to extend the sewer
service area to pick up another 19 acres out by the Wye. I sensed some
reluctance on council to the idea of Missoula growing all the way to
Frenchtown. It would be nice if we could actually establish an outer
boundary. The direction we have been going out there is to offer
contract sewer with delayed annexation. So the subdivisions are being
developed in the County jurisdiction which generally has more lenient
standards than the city. So then when we eventually annex it all it
won?t be up to city standards which has been the cause of some expensive
problems. I?m not sure how this one will ultimately go.



Our last meeting was Committee of the Whole where we discussed council
email policy. Mr. Nugent had forwarded Bozeman?s policy which forbids
communication during the meetings. He then sent us an updated copy of
their ordinance which appeared to forbid any email discussions at any
time. We also looked at a California Attorney General ruling that said
that any email communication between a quorum of the council at any time
was a violation regardless of whether it was later posted to the web
site. If this applied to Montana it would mean the postings to the
council group address would be a problem.

The points of agreement were that we would not send emails during
meetings and that we would continue to meet and discuss issues with
whoever we wanted. Dick made a strong speech about how this is how
business gets done in congress and at the legislature. When people need
to speak to each other they speak to each other.



Thanks for your interest,



Bob Jaffe

Missoula City Council, Ward 3

<mailto:bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us> bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us

406-728-1052

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Message: 2
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 11:33:24 -0600
From: "Geoff Badenoch" <geoffb at ism.net>
Subject: Re: [MissoulaGov] committee update 10-10-07
To: <bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us>, <missoulagov at cmslists.com>
Message-ID: <004e01c80c2c$d9548b30$0d19950a at Edradour>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Implicit in the development of sewer all the way to the Wye is the
resulting homes and traffic which will obligate the construction and
maintenance of roads and streets. Imagine a City that was aware of this
and the burdens it placed on the community, the airshed, the people,
etc. I generally believe that, within certain reasonable limits, people
ought to be able to do what they want with their property, including
develop it. There is this expectation that there is some obligation on
the part of the City to support that development through the provision
of infrastructure, though, and that troubles me.



I think it is a model we should examine. Is that what is in the best
interests of those of us who live here? Many people expect that
gasoline will go north of $5 a gallon. That will cut down a lot on
driving and make housing that far out less and less affordable. The
rest of our community?s infrastructure is getting to the point where its
age and obsolescence requires very expensive reconstruction?can you say
Hillview Way? Can we meaningfully re-examine our priorities and see if
this is what we really want to do?



Geoff Badenoch



-----Original Message-----
From: missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com
[mailto:missoulagov-bounces at cmslists.com] On Behalf Of Bob Jaffe
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 10:20 PM
To: missoulagov at cmslists.com
Subject: [MissoulaGov] committee update 10-10-07



Greetings,

This morning we had Ellie Hill from the Poverello Center come in to
discuss recent complaints about unruly homeless people downtown. The
gist of what I got out of the discussion was that ordinances that
further criminalize panhandling are generally not effective. They can?t
pay the tickets and jail doesn?t look so bad for a lot of these folks.
The Poverello is looking to expand their operation to be able to provide
some daytime space and services to give folks a healthier place to hang
around. For various reasons a lot of their clients can not really be
sent off to work. Ellie did like the idea of developing some kind of day
labor service for the clients who could take advantage of that.



Patty Kent from the mental health center also spoke about the need for a
place for the people with substance abuse issues to go. You have to be
sober to go to the Pov. As we all know there are a number of homeless
people who are not getting sober any time soon. In fact, these are most
likely the very folks we are having trouble with.



After the meeting I had the opportunity to speak with Laurie Johnson,
one of the downtown ambassadors working for the business improvement
district. Her take was that there are about 20-25 people who generate
almost all of the complaints. Most of them are not sober.



Maybe we need to look into having a designated drunk zone somewhere
downtown. Someplace they can hang out and have their basic needs met
without being on the doorstep of someone?s business. I think that is the
niche the
3:16 mission tries to fill but they have a containment issue with the
rest of the neighborhood.



I?m very much in favor of providing increased resources to the Pov. But
I?m concerned that we still won?t address the small number of highly
visible homeless folks that really get under the skin of the downtown
merchants.





In conservation we approved some contracts to finish the resurfacing of
all of our tennis courts and to rebuild the fence around the Bonner park
courts.



In PAZ we struggled with a 14 unit subdivision out on the corner of 7th
and Tower. The tough part about this one is the comparable county
zoning is
RLD2 (2 per acre). So we passed the first motion to set the public
hearing to annex and zone at RLD2. The next motion was to set the public
hearing to rezone to RLD4 and approve the subdivision. So really we are
bringing it in at RLD4 (4 per acre). But doing it in two steps makes
sure it at least gets the RLD2 zoning in case the rest of the deal falls
apart. It is considered a bad thing to annex and subdivide with no
zoning. There would be nothing to stop the new neighbors from opening
up a feed lot.

There are also some conflicts with the growth policy in this area. The
policy calls for developing the fringes of town to urban densities when
infrastructure becomes available. But it also still shows the 1970?s map
that calls for ? acre lots out there.

Another issue I would like to see addressed has to do with the
subdivision itself. It divides the site into a near perfect grid of
equal sized lots. I personally don?t really see a big difference
between 2 and 4 per acre.
Neither is open space and neither is high enough density to efficiently
support city services. I am sensitive to the issue of building over the
absolute best soils in the vicinity. I would like to see some emphasis
on clustering in the subdivisions we see out in the Orchard Homes area.
We could get the same or greater densities but at least preserve some of
the ground. If done well this could do more to preserve the character
of the neighborhood than covering the whole area with evenly spread half
acre lots.

I?m not the one designing the thing and I haven?t studied the site
limitations so maybe this is the best they could do. But I?m optimistic
that projects can be designed that reasonably meet the needs of the
developer, the neighborhood, and the community.



In A&F we approved the final agreement between the city, Safeway, and
St.
Pat?s. A lot of people have been working for a really long time to put
this deal together. If I?m remembering all the numbers right it goes
something like this: The city will kick in about $1.5 million to St.
Pats. St. Pats will then prepare the site for Safeway to the tune of
about $3.5 million.
Then Safeway takes over the old shops property and gives St. Pats their
old store property (I don?t know if there is any other consideration for
that property). If the deal goes bad while St. Pats holds the land they
pay back the $1.5 million bond and the city has the right to repurchase
the property for what St. Pats has into it. Once Safeway takes over they
are responsible for paying the bond if the tax increment does not cover
it.



In Public Works we mostly discussed the request to extend the sewer
service area to pick up another 19 acres out by the Wye. I sensed some
reluctance on council to the idea of Missoula growing all the way to
Frenchtown. It would be nice if we could actually establish an outer
boundary. The direction we have been going out there is to offer
contract sewer with delayed annexation. So the subdivisions are being
developed in the County jurisdiction which generally has more lenient
standards than the city. So then when we eventually annex it all it
won?t be up to city standards which has been the cause of some expensive
problems. I?m not sure how this one will ultimately go.



Our last meeting was Committee of the Whole where we discussed council
email policy. Mr. Nugent had forwarded Bozeman?s policy which forbids
communication during the meetings. He then sent us an updated copy of
their ordinance which appeared to forbid any email discussions at any
time. We also looked at a California Attorney General ruling that said
that any email communication between a quorum of the council at any time
was a violation regardless of whether it was later posted to the web
site. If this applied to Montana it would mean the postings to the
council group address would be a problem.

The points of agreement were that we would not send emails during
meetings and that we would continue to meet and discuss issues with
whoever we wanted. Dick made a strong speech about how this is how
business gets done in congress and at the legislature. When people need
to speak to each other they speak to each other.



Thanks for your interest,



Bob Jaffe

Missoula City Council, Ward 3

bjaffe at ci.missoula.mt.us

406-728-1052

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