Since June 2014, the Planning Division of Development Services has been working on a new Growth Policy for the City. This is the Our Missoula Project. Hundreds of comments have been collected from community members during various outreach activities including markets, festivals, and presentations. We conducted 30 listening sessions on the various topics that can be addressed in the community plan, ranging from economic development to social services, and taking on topics like arts and culture as well as aging needs. You can listen and view a 13-minute summary of the sessions. Additionally, we've nearly completed the Missoula Asset Mapping project, about which you can read on the Community Builder's website.
Open House April 30 from 4 to 7:30 pm at the Doubletree City of Missoula Development Services planning staff along with Our Missoula Project citizen volunteers invites the public to an open house unveiling draft policy language and future land use scenarios for Missoula’s Growth Policy. The open house is an opportunity to comment on the goals and objectives of the six citizen focus groups who have met over the last half year to create community policy direction for Missoula city.
The focus groups as well as the Steering Committee have also been considering the future land use map, a state-mandated component of a growth policy, which conveys how the community would like to grow over the next 20 years. Scenarios for this map will be on display at the Open House. The public can drop by at their convenience. Our Open House Invitation has more information!
Focus Groups wrap up Goals and Objectives After six months of work, the six focus groups have wrapped up their goals and objectives! Meeting notes are posted and each group's goals and objectives are or will shortly be posted in each respective group's web page. Additionally, focus group work will be on display at a public open house April 30th.
What's going on right now?
We are nearing the end of the phase of policy development. Six focus groups made up of community volunteers met monthly to develop the goals, objectives and action items for the plan. Those groups are economic health, environmental quality, housing, livability, safety and wellness, and community design. The groups are considered the wealth of information gathered through the earlier listening sessions, the community profile and past community goals and objectives as they brainstormed a host of new possible goal and objective statements. The public will now have a chance to review the goals and objectives and give comment.
The groups as well as the Steering Committee have also been considering the future land use map, which is one of the mandated components of a growth policy and conveys how the community would like to grow over the next 20 years. Scenarios for this map will be on display at the Open House
What are the next steps?
In the Spring, staff anticipates holding another community meeting to provide a general update and gather feedback on the progress of the focus groups. Overall, this process is expected to continue through the end of 2015. The Planning Division hopes to have a draft plan ready before summer, hold public hearings and planing board review through the summer, and City Council consideration in the Fall.
Watch and listen to the Listening Session Summary Video!
Watch the above slideshow about the policy development process which broadly outlines the "what", "why" and "how" of creating a growth policy for the Missoula urban area. Our Missoula is your opportunity to exercise your right to help guide Missoula's future. Community leaders have held public workshops, neighborhood meetings, focus groups and listening sessions, also collecting ideas at public events and on-line forums. All with a goal to generate the input needed for a comprehensive visionary, fiscally responsible growth policy for Missoula. Required by state law, the policy focuses on six factors key to maintaining and improving our quality of life:
Through the growth policy public outreach process, citizens, government officials, and resource specialists will come together to formulate possible policies, actions, and implementation strategies to reinforce and enhance what Missoulians like about their community, while making thoughtful choices for our future. Upon completion, the new policy will replace the 1998 Missoula Urban Area Comprehensive Plan and the 2005 Missoula Growth Policy for the City. It will be an overarching guide for coordinated growth and community enhancement in the Missoula Urban Services Area.