Frontier Institute Statement In Support Of SB 379

Frontier Institute Statement In Support Of SB 379

Legislation gives Montana landowners more freedom to build affordable starter homes

HELENA – Today the Frontier Institute offered support for SB 379, a bill that strengthens Montana property owners right to build affordable starter homes.

“SB 379 will spur the development of starter homes by addressing some of the worst aspects of California-style zoning in Montana,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO of the Frontier Institute. “It’s time to strengthen Montanans’ property rights by restoring landowners’ right to build the most affordable types of starter homes in our cities.”

SB 379 strengthens Montanans’ property rights by placing reasonable sidebars on local governments ability to prohibit or penalize the most affordable types of housing. 

SB 379 will:

  1. End discrimination against manufactured homes by ensuring they are treated the same as other homes in a zoning district.
  2. Ensure cities are creating a path way to the creation of Accessory Dwelling Units. 
  3. Eliminate excessive minimum lot area requirements greater than 4,000 sq. ft. in cities when lots are attached to city water and sewer. 

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.

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