Tag Archives: Yellowstone County

City, county may split ways on zoning regulations

Originally published in the 8/25/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.

BILLINGS — Yellowstone County Commissioners approved a proposed separation of the zoning regulations that govern the City of Billings and Yellowstone County.

Called the Unified Zoning Regulations, the City-County Planning Board proposed separating the governance of the two governmental entities to facilitate a planned update and revision of the goals and policies of each.

By the time County Commissioners approved the separation, the City Council had already approved the proposal, said Nicole Cromwell, zoning coordinator and code enforcement supervisor for the Planning Department.

Cromwell said that the separation involved no other changes or deletions to the Unified Zoning Regulations and, in fact, much time was spent on making sure that the zoning regulations for the county and for the city remained the same. Going forward, each governing body will be able to consider and adopt changes to the zoning code for their own jurisdiction.

The City and County agreed to unify the zoning code in 1993 and it was completed in 1997. The separation was initiated by the Yellowstone County Board of Planning as a step in a multi-year project to update and “modernize” the zoning codes to meet the goals and guidelines adopted through Growth Policies, Neighborhood Plans and other land use policies.

County’s taxable value up 4.6 percent

Originally published in the 8/25/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.

BILLINGS — The total taxable value of property in Yellowstone County increased 4.6 percent in FY 2016-17.

About half that increase is due to the construction of new property or what might be called the addition of new value to the total of assets in the county.

The balance of the increase in taxable value is the result of revised estimate of the value of existing property.

Only new construction results in increased revenue to county government and other taxing jurisdictions. The taxable value of Newly Taxable Property in FY2017-18 is $8,064,294, compared to $13,971,270 in FY 2016-17.

Yellowstone County’s base levy will generate $785,000 in new

County considers weekly newspapers as option for legal ads

Originally published in the 7/28/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.

BILLINGS — County officials are mulling over whether they want to change the publication designated as the official publisher of legal notices for Yellowstone County.
It’s been about three years since County Commissioners designated the Billings Gazette as their publisher of legal notices.
Raising the question last week was Jonathan McNiven, publisher of the Yellowstone County News. In a discussion

County attorney office cost drive budget

Originally published in the 6/23/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.

BILLINGS — Of all the budgeting problems faced by Yellowstone County, planning for the future of the County Attorney’s department is of great concern to Kevan Bryan, county finance director. The reallocation of other funds to supplement the County Attorney’s office is not a sustainable approach over the long term, Bryan told Yellowstone County Commissioners during budget hearings this week.

The most direct approach to deal with the problem would be to get voter approval to increase the public safety mill levy by 5-7 percent, suggested Bryan. Already drawing upon its reserves, as well as being supplemented from the general budget, the County Attorney’s department will run out of reserves by the end of FY 2023, said Bryan.

Budget hearings are being held every day this week, during which time, commissioners meet with department heads to review their needs for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1. Final budget hearings will be held after the state submits its valuations to the county in late August or early September.

Bryan began the hearing, explaining the situation posed by the ever-increasing demands on the county attorney’s office. “Our county attorney’s office