Council discusses new subdivision regulations
By KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor
During an hour-long workshop session Tuesday evening, Laurel’s aldermen were given a preview of new subdivision regulations expected to be adopted by both the city and county governments. Former city planner Monica Plecker, who worked on the new regulations, reviewed the major changes and discussed the reasoning behind them.
Plecker noted there have been no revisions since 2006
“There’s a lot of changes,” she said and proceeded to go through the “big ticket items.”
Currently there are multiple application processes for developments. The new regulations will streamline that while ensuring developers are held accountable. Plecker said the new process will be easier for Noel Eaton, current city planner, as well as let developers know ahead of time what will be expected of them before they make large investments.
The second change will be welcomed by many residents who have complained in the past that new subdivisions cause roadway and traffic problems. All major subdivisions will now be required to have a traffic study.
Off-site improvements will be charged to developers using a formula to determine the share of each lot in a subdivision. The funds will be managed for future improvements, as developments are populated.
And finally, suburban subdivision regulations will be added to help with the buffer zones—those areas outside city limits that tend to have more rural aspects. The city of Billings and Yellowstone County are using similar regulations now.
Council members also met two new candidates for the ambulance service; heard a report from Leif Welhaven, updating the organization of a Laurel Exchange Club; heard a report from Irv Wilke on last week’s turkey shoot which was reportedly very successful; and discussed combining three city boards, the tree board, the cemetery commission and the park board.
Council members Emilie Eaton and Bruce McGee were absent. See www.laureloutlook.com to view a video of the entire meeting. The council will have a regular work session Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 6:30 p.m. in council chambers.