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Get educated on planning

by SHIRLEY FOLKWEIN
| December 6, 2023 2:00 AM

The Columbia Falls City Council will hold its first workshop on The Montana Land Use Planning Act (Senate Bill 382) Monday evening, Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  It is crucial that we citizens become familiar with this new law that will drastically change the way land use planning will be done in Columbia Falls and in our neighborhoods outside the city limits.  Monday evening City Attorney Justin Breck will present information about Senate Bill 382.  The Council has indicated there will be opportunity for the public to ask questions.  SB 382 will have a huge impact on the future development of Columbia Falls and surrounding area.  We must educate ourselves about this and become involved in the development and application of this new law.  

In preparation for the workshop, consider taking a look at the 53-page bill at: https://leg.mt.gov/bills/2023/billhtml/SB0382.htm     

 In addition, a quick look at letters to the Daily Inter Lake with opposing views could be helpful:  1.)  Letter from Nathan Dugan on Oct. 22, 2023; 2.)  Letter from Robert Horne Jr. on Nov. 9, 2023.

Various sources point out this new law calls for public participation at the beginning of the planning process, in the development of a comprehensive growth policy.  It is essential that we as citizens “hit the ground running” with this process.  Becoming informed about the specifics of the Montana Land Use Planning Act is the first step.  

Shirley Folkwein

Upper Flathead Neighborhood Association

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