County Takes Up Interim Zoning (Again) in Lolo

by jhwygirl

Very little to be found on this on the web, people – but that should be of no surprise. I’ve ruminated numerous times on the lack of information readily available on county issues.

It’s 2009! Come on! You have the technology, and the staff. As it is now, it seems they’d rather spend time answering the phone and faxing and emailing truncated information around. Maps? They don’t fax well, nor do they email well for people on dial-up.

And now you can’t even read minutes – they only post the audio files. Can they make it any harder? We get agendas without links, and audio minutes. Unbelievable. I could go on about the many reasonable reasons why all BCC weekly agenda staff reports should be available for everything, but it really is as basic as wanting – wanting – to serve the public and provide them with information that is the same stuff available to the elected officials taking on public meeting actions.

No excuses. Spending money? Rubber-stamping family exemptions? Subdivisions? Those county departments aren’t getting that work done on slide rule and typewriters.

I see I’ve digressed…..

Missoula’s Board of County Commissioners takes up an extension of interim zoning for the area just south of Lolo, and west of Highway 93 as it relates to gravel and open cut mining and processing operations. About a year ago the county commissioners approved interim zoning in this area, but not without being dragged to their responsibilities.

That intertim zoning is about to expire, and per state law, they get to extend it just one more year. The weekly schedule sez it provides a link to the resolution, but in reality, it only provides a link to a public notice announcement on the interim zoning extension meeting. That document directs you to the resolution at, but a search of that page will leave you resolution-less.

So here’s what I know:
There’s a BCC meeting Wednesday, at 1:30, where a resolution will be considered to extend interim zoning for the area near Lolo, as it relates to open cut mining and processing operations.

It might be nice, too, if the county can give an update on this interim zoning. Surely one year later they’ve made some progress, no? Surely extending the interim zoning is reasonable because the county can reasonably expect to enact regular zoning there by May of 2010, right?

Otherwise, honestly, why bother? I say that, please note, as someone who has wholeheartedly supported county-wide zoning.

Interested citizens want to know these things.

  1. Ryan Morton, MBIA

    Well, to be fair, the County is posting things. Apparently the more noise they hear about the issue the better. I made the suggestion at an administrative meeting and a few weeks later, they started posting links. Some even had staff reports attached.

    Anyhow, I was able to find the draft resolution that was passed yesterday. I agree it took a bit to find, but it was findable.

    At the hearing, it was decided that nothing had changed since interim zoning last year. Therefore, they unanimously decided to continue interim zoning for one year. They have a planning process going on for Lolo that will likely result in zoning of the entire planning area.

  2. First, Ryan – thanks for making the suggestion at an admin meeting. That is very much appreciated.

    I’ve seen some links, here and there, mostly for staff reports for subdivisions.

    NADA on family exemptions. Why is that? They’re basically an exempt subdivision, after all. People really should be able to know the who what where of those – because they are for family right?

    (as an aside, those exemptions need to be brought under control by the state legislature. Allowing de facto subdivision based on an exemption that has no defined parameters – they can turn around and sell that lot and claim it under a ‘family’ need – is no way to do things.)

    Now to the interim zoning issue….

    You say that they’ve decided that “nothing had changed” so they therefore decided to continue interim zoning?

    Do you (or anyone out there) think that they will have zoning in the entire Lolo planning area by this time next year? No frickin’ way, and I will remember saying that one year from now…and I will remind everyone I said it, too.

    Here’s another prediction: One year from now, they will not be able to extend interim zoning…and zoning will not be in place (but they will say that it is expected “by the end of the summer”) and interim zoning will fall away for just enough time to make Knife River happy.

    Whadda ya think? Am I too cynical?

  1. 1 Lolo Community Council Seeking to Fill Two Interim Seats « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] emergency zoning to stop the gravel pit? That was extended into its second year this past May – which means that some sort of zoning regulation regarding gravel pits needs to be in place […]

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