The Bipartisan Movement In Montana To Address Strict Local Zoning Regulations
"The Montana Zoning Atlas 2.0 report supports a growing bipartisan movement in Montana to address strict local zoning regulations with pro-housing reforms:"
Did you see? After a lot of hard work, we officially released The Montana Zoning Atlas 2.0, an expanded interactive resource that demonstrates how strict local zoning regulations exclude low and middle-income residents and worsen Montana’s housing shortage. The report also outlines a 2023 Pro-Housing Platform with policy solutions that local and state leaders can adopt.
The Montana Zoning Atlas 2.0 report supports a growing bipartisan movement in Montana to address strict local zoning regulations with pro-housing reforms:
Zoning was pioneered in cities like Los Angeles during the 20th Century. California-Style Zoning practices reserve vast portions of Montana cities for expensive single family homes on large lots, prohibiting middle density starter homes like accessory dwelling units, duplexes, townhomes and triplexes that are more affordable by design.
Take for example Great Falls, where 92% of zoned areas in the city either outright prohibit or penalize 2+ family starter homes like duplexes. Blue areas indicate where 2+ family homes are welcomed by-right:
This week we identified two key bills and a handful of Red Tape Relief Bills being approved by committees.
HB 203 would expand the ability of students to attend a school outside the district where they live. The bill has been referred to as a “public school open enrollment bill that will truly expand choice.” Click here to learn more.
HB 191 would eliminate widely discredited certificate of need (CON) requirements for garbage haulers which require government permission before an entrepreneur can start a garbage collection business. Click here to learn more.
- 11 Bills introduced
- 26 Bill hearings scheduled
- 5 Bill drafts in assembly
- 7 Bills Passed Senate Committee
- 16 Passed House Committee
A Step Closer To Energy Abundance
On Monday, Northwestern Energy increased its share of Colstrip by acquiring Avista Energy’s share in the plant in 2026. Avista Energy transmits its 15% share in the energy produced by Colstrip Units 3 and 4 to Washington and Idaho. A Northwestern representative stated the deal would ensure that Units 3 and 4 stay open for the rest of the decade. Governor Gianforte was instrumental in bringing the parties to the table. The Governor stated the deal would ensure the stability of Montana’s grid, and the plant would operate through its useful life.
Our Take: Steps like these align with Frontier Institute’s 2022 Montana Energy Strategy. While states like Washington move away from coal, Montana can utilize its natural resources to provide cheaper and consistent energy at home. We hope to see new steps to secure Montana’s place as an energy exporter via a diverse portfolio of energy technologies.
Graphic Of The Week
In this report, R Street gave each state a grade based on the seven objectives of insurance regulation:
- Help maintain solvency of insurers operating in regulators’ respective states
- Support the promulgation of reasonable rates that are not excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory
- Review policy language
- License insurance companies
- Support the availability of insurance coverage
- Help consumers understand coverage, oversee sales practices and protect consumers against fraud and unscrupulous actors
- Collect insurance tax
CLICK HERE to learn more about this graphic.