Missoula Design Excellence


Design Excellence proposed zoning overlay is approaching its final public hearing and vote on whether to adopt!

The Design Excellence project is in its final stage of review and approval processes.  The final public hearing is scheduled for December 17, 2018 at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers at 140 W. Pine Street. 

This is consideration of City initiated text and map amendments proposed to revise Chapter 20.25 Overlay districts of Title 20 City Zoning Ordinance to create the Design Excellence Overlays General section (20.25.080) and two new overlay districts – Design Excellence Downtown Overlay (20.25.081) and Design Excellence Corridor Overlay (20.25.082) and apply the Design Excellence Downtown Overlay as well as the Corridor Overlay as new district boundaries overlaid on existing base zones. The proposed overlay replaces some similar standards and creates new architectural and site design standards for non-residential and multi-dwelling development.  It also includes associated amendments to existing sections on Design Review (20.85.080) and the Design Review Board (20.90.020). The locations for where the proposed design standards and guidelines would be applied are shown here.

Comments are welcome throughout the remainder of the process and can be submitted by using the comment form or by emailing Missoula Design

The Final Public Review Documents are now available for review: 

There are several public review draft materials that make up the overall project.

  1. The proposed ordinance, including a general chapter, standards for the DE-Downtown Overlay, and the DE-Corridor Overlay, and proposed additions to the current Title 20 zoning code have already gained recommended approval by Planning Board and are under consideration for adoption by City Council.  
  2. The website also includes the proposed district boundary maps (PDF) of where the specific Overlay Sub-districts would be applied throughout the City. The proposal to apply new district boundary overlays does not change the underlying zoning district base uses.
The associated Design Excellence Manual (PDF) provides additional flexible guidelines to be used for review of projects triggering Design Excellence Review (DER), and will be considered as a resolution by the City Council. Projects not triggering DER will follow already established zoning review processes.

An economic analysis was conducted by the consultant group Urban Advisors, which analyzes the standards proposed for the Design Excellence zoning overlay, and may be read here (PDF).

Public Open House - Review of Proposed District Boundary Maps

Thanks to the people who participated in the recent Open Houses on October 16th.

Please continue to contact our office with any further questions that you may have about the Design Excellence overlay. Visit the Public Review and Comment page for more information on how to submit comment. 

To view the information boards that were presented at the Open Houses, click here (PDF)

Additional Zoning Amendments

Some properties in or adjacent to the proposed Design Excellence overlay are currently zoned in districts that should be updated to the current Title 20 zoning code in order to function within this proposal. Specifically, the /EC overlay is proposed to be repealed and City Special District #2 is proposed to be rezoned.

View Current Projects in the City for information on these additional zoning amendments .