County commissioners endorse Missoula’s Downtown Master Plan

“We’re excited about this plan, and fully endorse it,” said Christine Dascenzo, who works on planning and permitting for the county’s Planning and Community Services. “It aligns well with the Missoula County Growth Policy.”  (File photo)

The Missoula Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday morning to approve a resolution encouraging the city of Missoula to adopt the proposed 2019 Downtown Master Plan. 

“I’ve been part of this process for more than a decade,” said County Commission Chairman Dave Strohmaier. “Downtown is part of Missoula County, and we have a stake in what happens downtown Missoula. I think it’s a great plan.”

The city of Missoula developed the 2019 Missoula Downtown Master Plan through an extensive outreach process, in which the county was involved. On Oct. 1, the Missoula County Consolidated Planning Board unanimously recommended that the City of Missoula adopt the 2019 Missoula Downtown Master Plan as an amendment to the 2035 Missoula City Growth Policy. 

“We’re excited about this plan, and fully endorse it,” said Christine Dascenzo, who works on planning and permitting for the county’s Planning and Community Services. “It aligns well with the Missoula County Growth Policy.”  

The resolution states that the county growth policy, adopted in 2016, “Generally supports master planning for the downtown areas because it conserves natural resources; protects and enhances historic and cultural resources; promotes economic development, proactively plans for logical growth of communities; supports provision of infrastructure; provides opportunities for housing choices, and promotes healthy active communities; promotes access to employment, housing, transportation, community services and amenities for all.”

The 2019 downtown master plan, an update to the 2009 plan, was drafted following more than a year’s worth of research, analysis, mapping, design, public outreach and input from more than 3,000 citizens.

“I want to clarify that we are not ‘adopting’ the plan,” Strohmaier said. “It’s a city plan, and up to the Missoula City Council to adopt it. But we want to express our full support.” 

The approval and adoption process for the master plan began Sept. 17. For more information, click here: https://missoulasdowntownmasterplan.com/