May 3rd, 2024

Bozeman Growth Plan

Photo Future of Bozeman Growth Plan

Bozeman Future Growth Plan, 2024 and Beyond

What’s anticipated for Bozeman’s future growth? Bozeman’s growth rate is 4.25%. Bozeman’s “2020 Plan” expired.

Bozeman Montana’s population just keeps growing, burgeoning 29% since 2010, when Bozeman had a population around 37,000. In 2023, 58,250 called Bozeman home.

Bozeman’s long-range plan is fashioned to guide development and public policy decisions. These judgments help shape the physical, environmental, economic, and social landscape and are found in Bozeman’s Community Growth Plan.

Future Bozeman Growth Plan - From Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan
Future Bozeman Growth – Downtown Bozeman Improvement Plan

A growth policy includes maps and policies that depict land uses and directs both present and future land uses.

Way back in October 22, 2001, the Bozeman City Commission adopted the Bozeman 2020 Community Plan as a growth policy for the city of Bozeman, Montana.

The City of Bozeman’s “growth policy” is based on a “Comprehensive” or a “Master” Plan.

What is Bozeman’s real estate forecast? Six years in a row, Bozeman was the fastest growing Micropolitan City in US. Now it’s too large to be a Micropolitan city.

Looking Back on Bozeman’s 20-Year Growth Plan, 2001 to 2020

Bozeman 2020 Planning Area

The planning area of the Bozeman 2020 Community Plan included the City of Bozeman as well as a quarter- to one-mile area beyond the city limits.

The jurisdictional area of the Bozeman 2020 plan was limited to the area within the corporate limits of Bozeman.

However, the plan itself considered areas outside of Bozeman’s current city limits, but the plan was only an advisory document for those areas not within the city.

The intent was to provide guidance to Bozeman real estate owners and public officials as properties were annexed in the future, and to provide a means of coordination between City and County planning efforts.

Bozeman Economic Development Strategy 2020

Bozeman Montana Top Micropolitan City 2021
Bozeman, MT, top Micropolitan city 4 years in a row.

What Information Did Bozeman’s 2020 Growth Policy Contain?

  1. Community goals and objectives;
  2. Maps and text describing an inventory of the existing characteristics and features of the community;
  3. Projected trends for the life of the policy;
  4. A description of policies, regulations, and other measures to be implemented in order to achieve the goals and objectives;
  5. A strategy for the development, maintenance, and replacement of public infrastructure;
  6. A plan for implementing and updating the growth policy;
  7. A statement of how the governing bodies would coordinate and cooperate with other jurisdictions;
  8. A statement defining real estate subdivision review criteria, and how the criteria would be applied; and
  9. A statement explaining how public hearings regarding proposed subdivisions would be conducted.

The Bozeman 2020 plan contained all of the above information, and, therefore, was compliant with Montana state law.

What Did Bozeman’s 2020 Community Plan Process Entail?

All of the generic requirements outlined in state statutes were addressed in a way that expressed Bozeman’s unique characters, conditions, and vision.

Generally, Bozeman’s growth plan espoused the following principles:

  1. Development of human scale, walkable neighborhoods where residences, businesses and other commercial uses are within walking distance of one another;
  2. Infill or redevelopment projects located in already developed areas and relying on adjacent real estate uses, as well as larger new towns complete with their own village centers and hundreds of acres of mixed housing types;
  3. Neighborhoods that contain a variety of buildings ranging from single-family attached and detached homes, to mixed use centers, complete with integrated retail, civic, office, and residential uses, including live-work units, and housing units located above shops;
  4. Network uses connected and unified by safe streets, and pedestrian and bicycle pathways;
  5. Pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods with human scaled buildings that relate to the street, provide safe pedestrian access, and create a distinct district identity; and
  6. Preservation of environmentally and historically sensitive or significant properties and real estate holdings, and the incorporation of a variety of open space and recreational amenities into new development.

Public Involvement in the 2020 Bozeman Growth Plan

Bozeman Public involvement and Bozeman Public Education was critically important to the Bozeman 2020 Community Plan planning effort.

It was very important that the Bozeman, Montana community had meaningful opportunities to contribute to the plan’s preparation. Montana law requires public hearings to be held and any proposed documents be available to the public for review. It is best if the general community is involved at the inception of all Bozeman building planning processes and is also familiar with the plan prior to public hearings. The Bozeman Planning Board provided a wide range of opportunities for public participation. Some examples include:

  1. Community Characteristic and Opinion Survey

    1200 randomly selected Bozeman households were asked basic questions regarding their housing and economic status, and what they did or did not like about Bozeman.

  2. Kickoff Events

    Four open houses were held on November 15-18, 1999. Persons who attended had the opportunity to comment on housing, transportation, public services, and other Bozeman demographic issues. Another informal survey was available for attendees to provide written comments regarding real estate planning.

  3. Planning Charrette

    This three-day event allowed participants to work in small groups to graphically address issues. The objective of the groups was to develop maps, diagrams, and drawings exploring various alternatives.

  4. Focus Groups

    Persons wishing to participate in planning for specific segments of Bozeman Montana’s Community Plan were provided the opportunity to take part in focus groups. Sign up sheets were available during the kickoff events, and newspaper display ads were used.

  5. Speakers Bureau

    The Bozeman Planning Board was available to meet with community groups, make presentations, and answer questions regarding the real estate planning process.

  6. City Web Site

    All documents created during the Bozeman 2020 processes were made available through the city’s website. The site was available 24 hours a day.

  7. Wrap Up Open Houses

    Five open houses were held on four consecutive evenings at four different elementary schools, and one entire day at the Mall. These open houses featured finalized goals & objectives, as well as community plan maps.

  8. Public Hearings

    The Planning Board held public hearings before recommending approval of the Bozeman, MT growth policy. The City Commission held public hearings before adopting the growth policy. A total of four public hearings were held.

  9. Bozeman Planning Newsletter

    The Planning Board established a newsletter, issued at key points during the Bozeman 2020 process. By the end of the planning process, the Planning Department maintained a mailing list of over 300 people and Bozeman organizations.

  10. Open Office Hours

    Any person who had comments or questions was able to visit or write the Planning Department to view documents or discuss the real estate plan with planning staff. All written comments were forwarded to the Planning Board and City Commission during the plan review process. Not only did the Planning Board offer a wide range of public involvement opportunities, they also used a variety of event publicity methods:

  • Display ads in newspaper
  • Legal notices in newspaper
  • Direct mailings
  • Flyers in water/sewer bills
  • Email to email list
  • Flyers/posters
  • Public service announcements
  • TV/radio interviews
  • Bozeman Events coverage
  • Radio call-in shows
  • Press release
  • Door knocking
  • TV Advertising
  • Newspaper op-eds, editorials, letters to the editor, articles

The city of Bozeman updated its Community Plan in 2009.

This page regularly updated since 2005.


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Taunya Fagan

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