Cities and towns have worked many years to protect Montana’s land and water resources through wise community development policies that emphasize centralized water and wastewater systems, efficient delivery of services to concentrated populations and compliance with fair and affordable environmental standards. Now, most new development in Montana is sprawling beyond municipal boundaries, threatening our legacy of open space and clean water. Municipalities are dedicated to working with state and federal agencies to establish growth and land use policies that recognize property rights while preserving the natural assets of Montana.
MLCT will support bills to:
- Encourage the use of community water, wastewater and stormwater systems to protect environmental quality and assure that cities and towns are not obligated for a disproportionate share of the cost of complying with Numeric Nutrient Standards, MS4 and other state or federal regulatory standards.
- Promote environmentally responsible energy development and conservation through grants, loans, and technical assistance and education programs.
- Allow cities and towns authority under the energy and building codes to promote conservation.
- Expand authority of cities and towns to use tax increment districts and tax abatements for opportunities as part of an effective economic development strategy.
MLCT will oppose bills to:
- Restrict the annexation, zoning, planning and subdivision review authority of cities and towns or in any other way interfere with established community development practices.
- Restrict the use of Special Districts but will consider measures to simplify protest procedures for property owners.
- Limit the effectiveness of the options under the tax increment district statutes but will consider measures that refines definition of “public purpose” for expenditure limitation purposes.