Montana. Dept. of Intergovernmental Relations.

Montana planning news bulletin (Volume Mar 1975) online

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MAR 1975


Montana State Library

3 0864 1004 3365 8

MAR 2 4 1975


" T/ie LoA-t SdW-dA Syndfiomz"

It appears tliat a fair number of Montanans are
afflicted with a malady which has been identi-
fied by Dr. Kenneth Boulding as the "last
settler syndrome." Dr. Boulding, an economist/
philosopher and admitted eccentric at tlie
University of Colorado, has identified the
syndrome and noted its epidemic levels along
the front range of the Colorado Rockies,
particularly in the Denver metropolitan area.
In Montana, the syndrome is characterized by
a collection of symptoms which, the patient
declares, stan from his unselfish concern for
society, environment, life styles, quality of
life, etc. The symptoms are most prevalent
a^^cig those who just got here in order to save
ulRrom others getting here and among those
who arrived a few years ago when it was still
acceptable to immigrate.

Syndrome sufferers can be readily identified by
their frequent verbalization of the concept
that only one party to a debate has a "life
style" and that happens to be the party who is
here. The Trespasser is simply one who wanders
aimlessly trying to improve his own life style.
Coupled with this benevolent attitude is
another inherent in the syndrome sufferer and
tliat is his absolute right to change (improve)
his own life style when it is within his means
and otherwise desirable; e.g., sell the ranch
and buy a condominium in Florida or spend the
winter in Arizona (delightful for the Arizona
developer and painful for the Arizona rancher,
both being enthusiastic defenders of their
respective life styles) .

It may be that the last settler syndrome re-
flects a philosophy which is, at once,
virtuous, liberal and imperialistic. It should
b^^f some significance to all of us that such
al^Pinholy combination of values lurks behind
the euphonious, oft-repeated plea to "protect
our life style."

Hal PfUce.




Lzgal EfUe.{,4>

Abound tkz State.

LzgAJtZatlvz Higktightl,

VAJ)tAA.ct Council. CohnoA

UoJich, 1975


A recent Montana Supreme Court decision has
radically limited the power of counties to adopt
interim or "emergency" zoning resolutions under
section 16-4711, R.C.M., 1947. The Court, in
Bryant Development Association v Ted Dagel et al
(No. 12825, Feb. 21, 1975) has held that interim
zoning is subject to the notice and hearing
requironents contained in section 16-4705, which
in the past has been applied only to the adoption
of permanent zoning resolutions. In addition to
establishing adoption procedures which cannot be
satisfied in less than six weeks, this section
provides that if forty percent of the property
owners within a zoning district protest the
proposed zoning regulations, they may not be
imposed on the district.

The historical purpose of interim or "anergency"
zoning is to allow local governments to preserve
the status quo during the preparation of canpre-
hensive land use plans and thus prevent the
untimely establisliment of uses which would
frustrate planning efforts before they can be
completed and implemented. The Bryant decision
defeats this purpose and effectively repeals
section 16-4711 by imposing a hearing and notice
requirement on what is of necessity a summary

The Planning Division views Bryant as a major
setback for land use planning in Montana which
will impede any future attempts of counties to
guide their destinies.

930 Eost Lyrdale Avenue
r^e ' g^O; Maf^ ' anji 39601


A follow-up on last month's legislative report
shows the following:

1. HB68 and FB577 (amending the Greenbelt
TawJ liave been killed . IIB488 , redefining
agricultural lands, is in the Senate
Agriculture Committee;

2. HE76 , permitting city, city-county and
county planning boards to form joint or
consolidated planning boards by inter-
local agreanent is in the Senate Local
Government Committee;

3. HB74 , providing for taxation of rural
subdivisions for fire protection is still
in the House Local Government Committee;

4. HB143, which provides for procedures for
emergency interim zoning in cities and
towns is in the Senate Local Government

5. HB319 , requiring a statewide land and
water resources inventory and placing a
four-year moratorium on agricultural land
subdivision, is in the Senate Agricultural

6. HB541 , providing for conservation ease-
ments, is in the Senate Natural Resources

7. HB569 , amending the definition of "sub-
division" in the Health Department's law,
is in the Senate Natural Resources
Committee. SB227 , also amending the
Health Department's definition of "sub-
division" to coincide with the definition
in the "Montana Subdivision and Platting
Act", is in the House Local Government
Committee ;

8. HB374 has passed second reading in House;
places a penalty tax on profits from land
transactions realized within less than a
six-year period;

9. SB9 , increasing from 40% to 60% the number
of persons residing within a zoning
district necessary to defeat county zoning,
has been killed in the Senate;

10. SB40 , providing that a city zoning

ordinance creating a Board of Adjustment
may limit the variance granting authority
of the board has been signed by the
Governor ;

11. SB49 , amending the state's full disclosure
law on land sales to include subdivisions
within Ntontana has been killed ;

12. SB65 , providing for the designation and /
preservation of prime agricultural land ^
has been killed;

13. SB270 , allowing further division of land
within platted subdivisions without survey
or public review- - killed ;

14. SB272 , giving governing bodies more direct
control over the activities of commissions,
districts, boards or agencies organized or
appointed by the governing body- - killed ;

15. HE652 § HB666 , amending the "Montana
Subdivision and Platting Act" are in the
Senate Natural Resources Committee;

16. SB326 5 SB391 , creating land use commissions
and providing for planning for and regu-
lation of areas of state concern- - killed

in Senate ;

17. 11B675 , establishing a process for develop-
ing and implanenting a state growth policy
and for identifying and regulating areas
of state concern- -still in House.



Qae6tionncuAe.. . .

A questionnaire to determine the status of
local planning in Montana is currently being
drawn up by the division for distribution to
planning board members and local government
officials. In view of the recent debates in
the state legislature concerning local control
of planning, the necessity of gathering
accurate information setting out the progress
of city and county planning tlie past five years
and the development of objectives have been
strongly felt. Realizing questionnaires are
at best time-consuming and often troublesome,
we apologize for this one and at the same time
we hope respondents will recognize the
importance of the survey and answer questions
as accurately as possible.

Reuu-ndcA. . . ^

Serious air pollution problems in the past
have been caused by the burning of slash from


timber clearing and road construction. With
the spring and summer construction season
approaching, the Air Quality Bureau of the
Department of Health has asked that we include
M^our N£W6teXteA a raninder to local planning
Ulrds that Montana's Clean Air Act requires
a permit from the Air Quality Bureau prior to
attempting to dispose of slash by burning. The
regulation strives to assure that burning will
take place during weather conditions which will
allow good smoke dispersion and that fires will
be properly attended with adequate fire control
available. In most counties burning permits
are attainable from either the county sanita-
rian or sheriff. For further information,
contact the Air Quality Bureau in Helena.
Phone 449-3454.

Handbook.. .

Complimentary copies of The Montana Subdivision
Handbook have been mailed to mayors, county
commissioners, county clerks and recorders,
county attorneys and planning board members.
The handbook should serve as a useful guide
to local officials responsible for regulating
subdivisions. It discusses the objectives of
subdivision regulation, the review process
under Montana's subdivision law, and basic
concepts of subdivision design.

Distribution of the handbook was delayed
because of the precedence of legislative bills
which tied up the state printing office.
Additional copies are available from the
division at $1.00 each.

U.M.T.A. Fundi...

The Planning Division is accepting appli-
cations for capital equipment funds under the
Urban Mass Transit Act grants program for the
elderly and handicapped. This program makes
available $144,000 to Montana for use in
urban areas with populations of 5,000 or more
to provide small capital grants ($5-10,000)
to private, non-profit corporations for the
purchase of buses, shelters, special lifts,
etc. , to serve the transportation needs of
the elderly and handicapped.

For further information regarding this program,
contact Joe Wilson at 449-3757.

20 S Planning StacLi


Online LibraryMontana. Dept. of Intergovernmental RelationsMontana planning news bulletin (Volume Mar 1975) → online text (page 1 of 1)