About the Project
The City of Libby’s current growth policy was adopted in 2010 and was a revision to the 1972 Comprehensive Plan. In October 2020, the City of Libby applied for a planning grant from the Montana Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). In December 2020, the city was awarded the grant in the amount of $37,500. The city proposed a local match of $12,500, bringing the budget for the project to $50,000. In addition, $8,000 in funds from a previous Main Street grant were approved to be applied to an update to the 2005 Libby Downtown Revitalization Plan and Mineral Avenue Streetscape Master Plan (aka Downtown Plan) as a part of the growth policy update.
In February 2021, the city solicited Requests for Proposals (RFPs) from planning firms for the project. After Land Solutions submitted a proposal in March 2021, the city selected Land Solutions in April 2021, and in June 2021, the city and Land Solutions entered into the contract for the growth policy update.
In October 2021, the project kicked off with stakeholder interviews and Planning Board and City Council meetings to introduce the project and begin identifying the key issues facing the community and City of Libby.
Since January 2022, the Planning Board has held monthly work sessions to provide direction to the project. The Planning Board has proposed specific characteristics and features be addressed with the growth policy update, a growth policy life of 10 years, and a jurisdictional planning area of the growth policy of the city and one mile area surrounding the city limits. The Planning Board also worked through the status of the Goals and Action Plan of the 2010 Growth Policy.
A draft Existing Conditions Report was developed by Land Solutions in April 2022, and the Planning Board reviewed and revised the report. The Existing Conditions Report dated May 2022 was released on May 24, 2022, and was used for focus group meetings in Libby on June 14 & 15 to provide feedback on the report, key findings, and questions presented in a memo.
Planning Board meetings were held during the summer to present and discuss key focus group findings and recommendations, community preferences for addressing various issues, and local capacity for implementing different types of potential policies and implementation measures (goals and actions). A first draft was reviewed by the Planning Board, and the Board requested multiple revisions and additions.
Draft 2 was developed for public review in October. The Libby City Planning Board held a public hearing on Monday, October 24, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. to accept public comment. The Planning Board adopted Draft 2 subject to changes listed in the Planning Board Resolution.
On December 5 & 19, 2022, the Libby City Council reviewed the recommendations of the Planning Board and accepted public comments. The public comments are addressed in the Council's Resolution of Intention to adopt the Draft 2 Growth Policy Update document subject to a number of changes.
On January 17, 2023, the City Council adopted the Libby 2023 Growth Policy dated January 2023 by Resolution 2012. The effective date of the Growth Policy is February 16, 2023.
What is a Growth Policy?
Growth policies are a local government’s most far-reaching community development and planning document. They generally have a ‘big picture’ focus, but can also delve into the details of specific issues when warranted. In essence a growth policy seeks to answer three questions:
Where are we today?
Where do we want to be in the future?
How do we plan to get there?
A growth policy is a non-regulatory document that identifies key social, physical, environmental, economic and land use issues that are important to the citizens of the jurisdictional area. A growth policy articulates goals, objectives, and actions that will assist the local government in making decisions on how to manage city resources.