The Lake County Planning Department, working with the Lake County Board of Commissioners, has compiled a list of the top five Planning update priorities for 2019. The priority list is as follows, 1) Lake Mary Ronan Zoning amendment, 2) Swan Sites Zoning amendment, 3) Floodplain Regulations amendment, 4) Polson Development Code rewrite, and 5) the Subdivision Regulations amendment/rewrite. 

The Planning Department would like to first begin work on the top two priorities listed, the Lake Mary Ronan and Swan Sites Zoning Districts and Regulations. These were and are a priority for Lake County due to the zoning maps for these districts having discrepancies between the zoning maps and the district descriptions within the zoning regulations. Further, the Lake Mary Ronan Zoning Regulations were adopted in 1997 with mandatory reviews after 1 year and then in the first and sixth years of each decade. These regulations have not received an update since their adoption in 1997. The Swan Sites Zoning Regulations were adopted in 1994 with mandatory reviews in the fifth and tenth years of each decade. The last amendment to the Swan Sites Zoning Regulations was in 2006. Correcting the issues with the map and description and conducting a general review and update are among the top priorities.

The desired amendments to the Swan Sites and Lake Mary Ronan Zoning Regulations would include correcting the maps and descriptions, updating the administrative section to be more in line with other zoning districts in Lake County, including a new section that addresses vacation rentals as a permitted use, and various other corrections and updates. Amendments to the administrative section would include an updated appeal process, language regarding an administrative penalty, and criteria for reviewing variances and conditional use requests, among other things.

Priorities 3 through 5 (listed above) were selected as priorities for 2019 due to MT DNRC requiring that Lake County update their Floodplain Regulations to be in line with the 2015 model regulations, the Polson Development Code being out of date and the county and city using separate documents, and the Subdivision Regulations being out of date with MT State law and current county processes. Planning Staff would like to revisit a major update to the Lakeshore Regulations in the future, but will attempt minor updates as time allows.

If you would like to provide comments, please use the following contact information:  

Information regarding the agenda items is available at the Lake County Planning Dept, Rm 315 of the Lake County Courthouse. All written and verbal comments are welcome and will be forwarded to the Board for their consideration. Comments may be mailed to Lake County Planning Dept, 106 4th Ave E, Polson, MT 59860 or faxed: 406-883-7205 or e-mailed:  planning@lakemt.gov