The purpose of a growth policy is to allow a community to examine its existing conditions and decide what they want for the future. These future goals and aspirations are developed into a strategic implementation plan with action steps, timelines, and potential partners to move the community forward. Lincoln County's growth policy update is intended to be focused on implementable action steps that community members and leaders can use as guidance to take action and measure success.
Growth policies are not regulatory documents. They do not stipulate where growth will or will not occur or what individual landowners can or cannot do with their land. Rather, a growth policy serves as a framework to guide local decision making and assist in managing county resources.
Montana state law requires that growth policies be reviewed every five years to evaluate whether the policy needs updating. It has been nearly a decade since Lincoln County’s current growth policy was updated. In that time there have been several factors that highlight the need for Lincoln County to initiate a growth policy update, including a changing economic climate and the need for the growth policy to reflect the current issues important to Lincoln County residents and business owners.
The quality of a growth policy is a direct outcome of how well it reflects the values and interests of the residents and business owners it is intended to serve. In other words, meaningful and ample input from a diverse array of individuals and groups is imperative to developing a plan that lays out Lincoln County’s goals for the future and sets out a clear and realistic path to putting the plan into action. Over the coming months Lincoln County's planning department and consulting planners will be actively seeking input from residents. There will be several opportunities for residents to provide input, review drafts, and attend public meetings taking place throughout the county. Public meetings will be scheduled during the spring and early summer. Meeting locations, dates, and times will be posted on this site, so please check back often.