Administrative Review Processes
The following project types are evaluated for completeness by Current Planning Staff, then reviewed for the criteria in Municipal Zoning Code Title 20 and approved, denied, or approved with conditions by the Zoning Officer. These findings will be included in a report and/or letter to the applicant.
A Subdivision Exemption Affidavit, or SEA, allows for the exemption of certain divisions or aggregations of land from the full subdivision review process and fees, but which are still subject to survey requirements and zoning regulations.
The exemptions are provided under State Law (MCA 76-3-201, MCA 76-3-207).
The Current Planning and Land Use Division reviews an application for completeness and compliance with Municipal Zoning Code, Title 20, and other applicable land use rules and regulations.
Administrative adjustments are intended to provide a streamlined approval procedure for minor (de minimis) modifications of selected zoning ordinance standards. More information about the Administrative Adjustment intent, review criteria, and conditions of approval process can be found in Missoula Municipal Zoning Code Title 20, 20.85.110 - Administrative Adjustments.
Selected zoning ordinance standards which can be Administratively Adjusted:
20.85.110.B.5 Bicycle Parking
The Zoning Officer is authorized to approve an Administrative Adjustment reducing the number of bicycle spaces required under 20.60.090. Such an administrative adjustment may be approved only when the zoning officer determines that use will generate no bicycle traffic or that it would be impossible to provide bicycle parking at the subject location.
The Zoning Officer is also authorized to approve an Administrative Adjustment to modify the bicycle parking design and location requirements under 20.60.090 if the zoning officer determines that an alternative design is necessary to address practical difficulties associated with modifying existing buildings and sites to comply with bicycle parking requirements.
The Zoning Officer is authorized to approve an Administrative Adjustment allowing expansion of a nonconforming use into another part of the same building, in accordance with 20.80.040.C.
20.85.110.B.7 Parcel Area
The Zoning Officer is authorized to approve an Administrative Adjustment to permit the construction of one additional residential dwelling unit on a parcel that would otherwise be prohibited solely because the parcel does not comply with the minimum parcel area standards of the subject zoning district. The Zoning Officer may not approve an Administrative Adjustment that allows the parcel to be less than 95% of the otherwise required minimum parcel area, and the Administrative Adjustment may not be used to reduce minimum parcel area requirements for parcels created after November 4, 2009.
Such an Administrative Adjustment may be approved only when the Zoning Officer determines that the proposed adjustment meets the general intent of 20.85.110.A.
20.85.110.B.8 Parking Incentives for Transit-Served Locations
The Zoning Officer, after consulting with the city engineer, is authorized to approve up to a 15% reduction in the number of off-street parking spaces required for nonresidential uses located within 500 feet of a transit stop that is served at intervals of 30 minutes or less between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Public Notification: A memo is sent to Adjacent Property Owners within 150 feet of the subject property. In addition, a poster is placed on the site facing adjacent roads. The project is posted on Engage Missoula.
Effective Date: If the administrative adjustment is approved or conditionally approved, the approval is effective upon the date of the approval letter. Building permits will still be required.
Download the Administrative Adjustment Application.
The Design Review process is an administrative process for zoning variations to; Sign Standards (20.75) and certain sections of the Landscaping Standards (20.65.100), Multi-dwelling Building Standards (20.40.090.H) and Townhouse Standards (20.40.140.H).
Prior to October 2023, Design Review required approval from the Design Review Board. This process is now administrative and does not require public hearing.
More information about Design Review can be found in Title 20, 20.85.080.
There are four scenarios for which signs must be permitted through the Design Review Process;
- Comprehensive Sign Package (20.75.100.B.1).
A Comprehensive Sign Package is an opportunity for all the signs on a parcel to be 'packaged' in a single application for approval when the proposed signs do not meet all of the applicable Sign Standards. Signs approved through a comprehensive sign package may vary from zoning code in terms of number, size, and height. Signs that are not in strict compliance with the regulations of this chapter may be approved when the zoning officer determines that the signs are part of a comprehensive design plan that meets the overall intent and purposes of this chapter.
2. Signs located in Planned Unit Developments and Special Districts
3. Heritage Signs
A heritage sign is one that employs distinctive graphics, symbols and lighting that is a unique design to the community and are historically accurate, reflecting the heritage of Missoula. Heritage signs may be in the form of nonconforming signs or new signs that do not fit within the typical definition and measurements of wall, ground, or other sign types.
4. Building Graphics
Building graphics are defined as “Any mosaic, mural or painting or graphic art technique or combination or grouping of mosaics, murals or paintings or graphic art techniques that has artistic merit, is not associated with the business being conducted, is unique in design to the community, reflects the heritage of Missoula and is applied or implanted directly onto a wall or fence.”
To have a proposal approved for Alternative Compliance, the applicant must propose an alternative design that meets the intent of the code section from which they are varying.
Through the Design Review process applicants can vary from;
Effective Date: If the Design Review proposed is approved or conditionally approved, the approval is effective upon the date of the approval letter. Building permits and/or sign permits will still be required.
Download the Design Review Application.