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Bozeman Mayor, Commission pause Unified Development Code update process

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Posted at 8:50 AM, Oct 16, 2023

BOZEMAN — In a Monday morning release, City of Bozeman officials say they are tapping the brakes on an update to the city's Unified Development Code.

After months of engagement and many comments from residents asking for more time to give feedback, Bozeman’s Mayor and Commission have decided to put the Unified Development Code Update timeline on hold until after the first of the year to provide additional opportunities for community engagement.

“This is not a decision that we make lightly. We know the staff has spent a lot of time and effort meeting with community groups, setting up event engagement stations, and hosting meetings on the project,” Mayor Cyndy Andrus explained. “We’ve also heard from many residents recently who are expressing concern that they are just now learning about the project. We want to acknowledge that and allow more time for them to learn about the proposed updates and hear their comments. Everyone deserves a chance to speak and feel heard.”

The Unified Development Code (UDC) is the part of the city code that outlines the rules and regulations for development within the city. The city launched the update effort in the summer of 2022 to align with the city’s guiding policies and goals around growth, sustainability, and affordable housing.

The suggested changes include the deletion and consolidation of certain zoning districts, one new zoning district, transition standards between zoning districts, parking requirements, administrative changes to address recent state legislation, and a new layout of the UDC with extensive graphics to make it more approachable and easier to navigate for all.

Since the project kicked off in July 2022, City of Bozeman staff, consultants, and partners have attended and hosted over 70 different meetings and events [engage.bozeman.net]. A plan for future opportunities for the public to weigh in and the new timeline for when the Commission will hear the Code Update will be developed over the next few months.

“With Commissioner Pomeroy’s resignation and the upcoming election, this will allow any new members of the Commission time to get up to speed and make thoughtful decisions,” says Andrus. “Our City Code addresses many complex issues that can be challenging to understand. We hope this delay shows people we are listening and agree that more time is needed before we take action. I hope we can all agree that this effort is a crucial piece of addressing issues like housing and growth. We shouldn’t toss the whole thing out because of any one aspect, but rather come together in the spirit of improving our code and our community.”

More information on the project can be found at engage.bozeman.net/udc [engage.bozeman.net]