Toggle Mobile

Our legislative committee is comprised of MAP members from throughout the state. They include public and private sector planners from communities large and small. Legislative committee members volunteer their time. All of our legislative committee members are dedicated to representing the diverse views of MAP membership through the lens of their individual experiences in the communities they work in.

2022 -2023 Legislative Committee

  • Aaron Wilson – MAP President
  • Andrew Hagemeier – Co-Chair
  • Sean O’Callaghan – Co-Chair
  • Lucia Stewart – Legislative Committee Intern
  • Dani Arps
  • Jeff Bollman
  • Jamie Erbacher
  • Jerry Grebenc
  • Scott Hazelton
  • Karen Hughes
  • Greg McNally
  • Allison Mouch
  • Monica Plecker

Montana Association of Planners 68th Montana Legislative Priorities

The Montana Association of Planners drafted and adopted the following priorities for the 68th Legislative Session to use as a guide for formulating positions on legislation.

Montana Association of Planner’s Legislative Priorities for the 2023 Legislature

2023 Legislative Context

Planning statutes are receiving heightened attention with law makers and the public.

There is a perception that local land use regulations are creating barriers compounding issues, specifically housing issues, in communities across Montana. There is a demand for immediate relief, and a perception that previous bills focused on reform have failed to provide results.

In 2021, the House Local Government Committee directed organizations involved in local land use legislation (including MAP) to find solutions to the perceived regulatory problems.

Technical arguments on regulation and processes that are typically MAPs strength are not going to work against the affordable housing narrative.

It is anticipated that this will be the most consequential legislative session for land use law in Montana since 1973

General Directives

  • Focus legislative capacity on bills addressing Growth Policies, Zoning, and Subdivision
  • Be solutions orientated, recognize the status quo is not going to remain
  • Be cognizant of MAP’s strengths and weaknesses in the political landscape
  • Keep the MAP Board and membership apprised of major planning legislation

Strategic Directives

  • MAP’s long term strategic objective is to elevate the role proactive planning and zoning has in the entitlement process.  Look to shift aspects of the subdivision review process to zoning.
  • Strategically embrace reform that emphasizes important planning issues. Important issues to MAP in the 2023 session include but are not limited to housing, local decision making, public health and safety, and community identity.
  • How we message will be critical. Know when messaging should focus on how a bill will affect the communities we work in, and when technical arguments will or won’t be effective.
  • Recognize the urban vs rural differences in planning, and how solutions designed for one area might affect the other differently.
  • Leverage our relationships and diversity of skills as planners – come up with technical and creative solutions, be a part of coalitions, and engage our local elected officials on important planning topics.

Specific Directives

The MAP board is focused on the following concepts. Direction to the Legislative Committee on the specific directives will be delivered to the Legislative Committee as the specifics of these concepts becomes available.

  • Subdivision and Platting Act
    • Sponsor a process that establishes administrative review for minor subdivisions
  • Zoning
    • Support zoning reform that provides incentives for local governments to allow more housing options and types while maintain local decision-making. See the Utah Model for zoning for housing
  • Comprehensive Reform
    • Support the Working Group’s efforts to develop a framework for comprehensive reform of our planning statutes. This framework should:
      • Emphasize the importance of proactive planning and implementation of comprehensive plans in addressing the issues that are facing Montana communities
      • Elevate zoning as a tool that provides entitlements
      • Recognize that subdivision is a tool to entitle the division of property and does not replace or perform for communities what comprehensive planning and zoning can