Frontier Institute Statement In Support Of HB 553
Legislation gives Montana landowners more freedom to build affordable starter homes
HELENA – Today the Frontier Institute offered support for HB 553, a bill that follows Frontier Institute recommendations to reform zoning regulations to give Montana landowners more freedom to build affordable starter homes.
“For far too long Montana communities have adopted California-Style zoning practices which have prohibited the most affordable types of starter homes in our communities,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO of the Frontier Institute. “HB 553 rolls back California-style zoning by giving Montanans’ more ability to choose a home type that works for them.”
Montana’s most in-demand cities and counties routinely penalize or outright prohibit affordable starter homes like Accessory Dwelling Units and manufactured homes from large swaths of our communities.
SB 553 reverses strict California-Style zoning practices by broadly restoring the right of landowners to build Accessory Dwelling Units or manufactured homes.
Frontier Institute has promoted extensive research showing excessive California-Style zoning:
- Contributes to Montana’s housing shortage, driving up the cost of housing for everyone.
- Prohibits affordable starter homes in desirable and opportunity-rich areas of town.
- Forces landowners to jump through regulatory hoops to build affordable homes.
- Violates landowners’ right to build affordable starter homes on their own property.
- Drives urban sprawl, eating up surrounding open space and rural land with development.
- Inflates city infrastructure costs by forcing housing development to sprawl outward, requiring more government spending and higher taxes.
- Robs cities of new sources of revenue by blocking more residents and businesses in city limits.