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Construction Timing

Land Use Regulations Series – Did you Know?


Richland County and its communities are seeing new construction projects from residential to industrial.

Are you thinking about a building a house, a commercial/industrial shop, etc… building on a parcel of land? Or allowing RVs, mobile homes, work units, or other forms of living units to be set up on your property? These may be subject to planning review; you will need to contact the County Planner Office to make that determination with you.

I have served as the Planner for Richland County for 13 years. Over the years Montana’s land use laws have changed, so when new State laws go into effect the governing body (Board of County Commissioners) considers them for adoption at the local level.

For example, The Richland County Subdivision Regulations are reviewed every two years to ensure the regulations are in compliance with state legislative changes pursuant to Montana Code Annotated (MCA) Title 76, Chapter 3.

The influx of temporary housing and the need for more temporary housing over the past few years led County Commissioners to adopt a county-wide overlay zoning regulation adopted in October of 2013 to address the impacts of work camps.

During the past legislative session a new State law went into effect regarding buildings for rent or lease, such as apartment buildings. Pursuant to MCA Title 76, Chapter 8 the County adopted the Richland County Buildings for Rent or Lease Regulations in September of 2013.

According to our local regulations and State law construction work is not to occur until conditional approval has been granted by the governing body. Any construction work undertaken before conditional approval may have to be redone or removed if not in compliance with the adopted standards.

According to our local regulations RVs, mobile home parks, etc. parks are not to be occupied (or leased, rented, or any other types of conveyance) until final approval is granted from the governing body.

So before you start construction or the installation of any type of units on your property, please contact the Richland County Planner Office to help you to determine if you are required to go through planning review.

Most people may not be aware Richland County is one of the few counties in Montana that does have a building permit process. The projects mentioned above may require a building permit. Please contact the Richland County Building Inspector, Alton Hillesland for assistance at 433-2809 or at 115 2nd ST SE in Sidney.

The Richland County Attorney’s office hired Compliance Officer Terry Murphy to assist the Planner Office to ensure projects are in compliance with our local regulations. You can contact Mr. Murphy at (406) 261-1681.

The County Planner Office is releasing a series of land use articles to provide information that relates to land use regulations and requirements. For more information or to inquire about these regulations please feel free to contact the County Planner Office at 123 W Main ST, Sidney, MT 59270 or call (406) 433-6886.


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