Bozeman Community Plan – What’s it All About?

On October 17th, Bozeman held an open house that featured a land-use map that visualizes Bozeman’s future building plans over the next ten to twenty years. Part of what has been coined the Bozeman Community Plan, this map aims to guide viewers through Bozeman’s plan for development in the near future. According to City Planner Tom Rogers, this map will help to predict where construction may occur, including but not limited to the city’s plans for large infrastructure projects.

The ultimate goal of this community plan is to prepare for Bozeman’s rapid growth in population. “The future land use map is one of the few visual representations we have to show how we’d like Bozeman to grow,” Tom said during an interview with the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “Our population is nearing 50,000 people, Where will the next 50,000 go?” This land-use map is just a small part of the Bozeman Community Plan, something that has been in the works for years – but what’s it all about?

The purpose of the Bozeman Community Plan (BCP) is to “integrate the concerns and desires of the community into a document that guides the City on how to grow and develop,” according to the City website dedicated to the Plan. Because of the rapid increase in Bozeman’s expansion in the past decade, the City felt it necessary to create a dedicated plan outlining the future growth of the community. With the help of the public, the BCP has been broken down into seven distinct vision statements, outlined in the what has been called the Strategic Plan.

According to the Strategic Plan, “Bozeman Bozeman remains a safe, inclusive community, fostering civic engagement and creativity, with a thriving diversified economy, a strong environmental ethic, and a high quality of life as our community grows and changes.” To that end, the Strategic Plan aims to achieve the following over the next 2-5 years:

  1. Community Outreach
  2. Affordable Housing
  3. Planning and Land Use Initiatives
  4. Parks Maintenance District
  5. Annexation Analysis and Study

Currently, the Community Plan is broken up into three phases. Phase I involved the creation of the Plan’s foundation, during which the seven vision statements detailed in the Strategic Plan were identified. These vision statements are were placed into the following categories:

  1. The Shape of the City
  2. A City of Neighborhoods
  3. A City Bolstered by Downtown and Complementary Districts
  4. A City Influenced by Our Mountains, Open Space, and Parks
  5. A City Guided by Regional Cooperation and Defined Edges
  6. A City that Prioritizes Mobility Choices
  7. A City Powered by its Hardworking, Creative, Innovative, and Entrepreneurial People

Phase I’s primary goals were to gather information about what the community wants Bozeman to look like, what Bozeman does well, and the areas in which the City could improve, all based on community opinion. The feedback from residents, as well as all of the specifics regarding Phase I of the BCP can be found here. This phase was completed in September of 2018, at which time the BCP moved to Phase II.

The second phase of the BCP includes an Opportunities Survey Summary, Opportunity Drawings, and a Public Event Summary. The Opportunity Survey, open to the public from December 12, 2018, to January 25, 2019, was created in order to pinpoint opportunities for each of the seven vision statements detailed in Phase I. This survey featured opinions from 230 people, and can be found here. Referring to the list above, the three most selected vision statements were numbers 2, 4, and 6. Similarly to the survey, volunteers also offered drawings related to the opportunities garnered from the vision statements; these drawings can be found here. Finally, the Public Event Summary outlines the takeaways from the Phase II public event that occurred on November 29th, 2018. This document also nicely lists each opportunity relating to all of the vision statements, and can be found here. Looking ahead now, Phase III of the BCP involved “finalizing the plans goals, objectives, and how to measure success”, according to the Official BCP Website. The Bozeman Planning Board will release a draft of Phase III shortly.

Summarizing, the Bozeman Community Guide and associated documentation provides an excellent resource for all those who are interested in where Bozeman is heading. Fortunately, the City has provided a detailed timeline for the Community Plan for Aug. 2019 – Jan. 2020. This schedule can be found here. With rapid expansion leading to incredibly accelerated development, it’s comforting to know that the City of Bozeman is effectively preparing for the future!

City to present a map of Bozeman’s future
By Katheryn Houghton Chronicle Staff Writer Oct 17, 2019 – Bozeman Daily Chronicle Online

Bozeman Community Plan and all associated and referenced documentation cited within the document

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