Missoula Aims for Equity With Development Code Updates
The “Our Missoula Development Guide” is getting an update as the Montana deals with the contemporary pressures of population growth and gentrification.
The city of Missoula is updating its growth policy and zoning code with goals to relax constraints of housing production while mitigating gentrification and rising housing costs.
According to a recent article by Dominic Vitiello, the city is currently underway with the second phase of a six-phase process to complete the update. “The first step from officials and planners was a community launch phase aimed at informing and educating the public about the “Our Missoula” project,” reports Vitiello. “Phase two is about defining the problem. That means identifying how codes and policies fall short in addressing equity and community needs.”
Jamin Kimmel, an urban planner for Cascadia Partners, is quoted in the article discussing the need to loosen restrictions on housing production in the city. Kimmel describes the city’s current zoning as a detriment to housing affordability by allowing large, expensive homes in a few neighborhoods while concentrating most development in low-income neighborhoods at risk of gentrification and displacement.
More context on Montana’s housing crisis and efforts to mitigate it here.