Planning for Growth


Cities function in interconnected webs of resources. Land use planning and regulation can help to make effective use of those resources and minimize damage to them from human activities.

Planning provides a conceptual and legal framework within which individual aspirations are pursued. Bozeman understands that people and their needs are part of the natural environment. We recognize that needs can be met in ways which can either minimize or expand impacts on the world around us. The buildings we construct and the patterns we place them in directly impact the amount of energy and other resources we consume and the society in which we engage.

Bozeman was a lot smaller in 1872

Bozeman uses long range land and infrastructure planning to help increase financial and energy efficiency and protect our environment by:

  • supporting proper maintenance of infrastructure to maximize its service life and avoid needless replacements;
  • timing installation of infrastructure to meet needs as they occur rather than years before or after;
  • to coordinate public and private development to minimize storm water surges and pollutant loading of our local streams;
  • to enable multiple methods of travel, not just individual motor vehicles, to serve as primary means of travel throughout the community;
  • to reduce energy consumption in the delivery and treatment of water and sewage;
  • and to enable urban densities which lessen the number and distances of motor vehicle trips.

Bozeman has incorporated concerns about the environment into its regulations by:

  • incentivizing the use of water conserving landscapes and the preservation of mature vegetation;
  •  protecting streams, wetlands and floodplains to minimize flood damage, protect water quality, and support habitat;
  • requiring the control and treatment of storm water;
  • requiring control of noxious weeds which damage habitat and pasture;
  • facilitating the installation and use of renewable energy sources such as solar;
  • and ensuring that bicyclists and pedestrians are considered in street and site development.

Bozeman revised its regulations to enable higher urban densities of homes and commercial activities while providing compensation for the impacts of that density by:

  • providing for public parks and private open spaces;
  • ensuring that needed water, sewer, and street infrastructure are available when needed;
  • avoiding excessive development standards for parking and land area;
  • allowing taller buildings which increase the efficiency of public services and reduce the consumption of land;
  • encouraging the preservation and reuse of valuable existing buildings rather than demolishing them;
  • creating incentives for infill development;
  • and providing more accurate cost of public services pricing for edge development.