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How Montana Counties Balance Agriculture & Development

Counties use subdivision regulations as a flexible tool to balance the right to develop with the right to farm.

Counties encouraging developers to keep a portion of the land in agriculture:

  • Madison County: evaluates whether design keeps a portion of the land in agricultural use
  • Beaverhead County: may require a percentage of land be made available for ag; uses Agricultural Management Plans to ensure that land set-aside is actually used for agriculture, not open space
  • Lake County: mitigation includes clustering homes and purchasing off-site development rights
  • Dawson County, Butte-Silver Bow County, and the Montana Department of Commerce Model Subdivision Regulations recommend subdivisions maintain at least 30% in open space

Counties assessing the soils and ag potential of the land being subdivided:

  • Yellowstone County
  • Sweet Grass County
  • Broadwater County
  • Blaine County
  • Custer County
  • Cascade County
  • Ravalli County
  • Flathead County
  • Glacier County
  • Park County
  • Roosevelt County
  • Richland County
  • Sanders County
  • Stillwater County
  • Big Horn County

Any mitigation used to address an impact must be reasonable (see MCA 76-3-608).

Impacts go beyond the fenceline • Keep ag concerns on the table • Vote NO on SB 147