Havre Daily News
The Chinook City/County Planning Board will hold its first meeting Wednesday at the Chinook City Hall.
Items on the meeting's agenda include a discussion of a growth policy for Chinook and the selection of a consultant to facilitate the creation of a growth policy.
The board recently was formed, with the Chinook City Council appointing four members and the Blaine County Commission appointing four members.
Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will start at 6:30 p.m.
Chinook has received a $10,800 in federal Community Development Block Grant program funding to finance, in part, the development of a growth policy.
Blaine County Commissioner Art Kleinjan on Monday said the need for a planning board was highlighted recently when a couple purchased a property they wanted to live in but it was zoned for commercial occupants. Kleinjan said the issue was resolved because the woman was a hairdresser and decided to use the space commercially after all.
“If she wasn't a hairdresser, they would have been out of luck,” he said.
Kleinjan said the naming of a board is “a step in the right direction.”
He said a growth plan will help define the growth of the city by designating residential and commercial areas and aid in the formation of subdivisions. It cannot impact existing agricultural areas, Kleinjan added.
As defined by the Montana Legislature, a growth policy is an official public document adopted and used by a local government as a general guide for development and conservation decisions, according to Bear Paw Development Corp. planner Craig Erickson.
Kleinjan said the commission has decided the growth plan should be created for an area six miles in diameter, which includes Chinook and outlying areas.