2019 Montana Association of Planners Conference Partners

OPD Logo_vertical-07.jpg
AMBWPhil-Logo-Primary-Lichen.jpg
WC_centered_397[1].jpg

About MAP The Montana Association of Planners (MAP) is an association of professional planners, from public and private entities; planning board members and interested citizens. Though most often associated with guiding future land use and development, local planning efforts also include planning for public facilities and service needs, historic preservation, environmental protection, transportation, parks and recreation, and economic development. Planning provides options and tools for communities to achieve their vision of the future. MAP takes no position for or against growth, but rather promotes planning as a positive and proactive way to address change in our communities. Contact us: mtplanners.org@gmail.com

Friday, Sept. 14

8:00 - 9:15 AM  

How to Access Planning-Relevant, Socioeconomic Data 1.25 CM

 

What do recent migration patterns or industry trends mean for the future of Montana communities? Can we measure how enhancing community amenities like trails and pathways leads to better economic opportunities for local businesses and residents? If these questions peak your interest, you'll love this session. Patty Gude, the associate director of non-profit Headwaters Economics, will lead a thoughtful discussion of economic topics that directly relate to land use planning. During this skill-building session, you'll learn how to use Headwaters Economics' free tools and data.  Patty will provide a short training on the Economic Profile System -a website that creates Excel and PDF reports showing economic and demographic trends. You'll also learn about a new online resource that delivers county-level data on the pace of home construction, large-lot building trends, and the loss of open space. And, you'll learn about data and methods that can be used to measure the economic benefits of community trails and pathways. This session will help you understand socioeconomic data and trends that you can apply in your daily work to better assist your community.

 

Patty Gude, Associate Director at Headwaters Economics

  • Speaker(s) bio: Patty is the Associate Director at Headwaters Economics and specializes in the economics of land use and management. She has expertise in applied research and communication.  Patty works closely with community leaders, land managers, and elected officials to understand needs, establish partnerships, and employ the knowledge and skills at Headwaters Economics to assist them. Patty holds a M.S. in Ecology from Montana State University.

Planning Development in a Context of Uncertain and Changing Floodplains 1.25 CM

 

Recent local and national disasters illustrate the dramatic differences between actual recent flood events and mapped floodplains (FIRM). How do we locate new development and plan for its flood resiliency given the uncertainties of mapped floodplains? This session will briefly review factors affecting differences in mapped floodplains and actual events. Then, using recent information from the Houston floods of 2017 and examining specific examples in Montana, we will examine options for more resilient development practices.

 

Specifically, the session will include the following educational objectives:

1. Existing practice for siting new development in flood-prone areas – overview of land development review parameters in Montana compared to recent APA recommendations

2. Better understanding of factors affecting accuracy of floodplain maps and data relevant to siting development or providing for resiliency

3. Local government and planners’ role in working toward more resilient development, using examples

Anne Cossitt, AICP  WGM Group

  • Anne Cossitt, AICP, has practiced land use planning for a variety of venues and purposes including state and federal EIS analysis, community development, city and county growth policies and disaster mitigation planning. Ms. Cossitt has provided facilitation for the US Forest Service, National Park Service, US BLM, and Montana FWP. She has worked in more than 40 of Montana’s 56 counties and six of Montana’s seven Indian reservations. Prior to joining WGM Group in 2017, she was Chief of the Planning Bureau at the Montana Department of Commerce. For most of her career, Ms. Cossitt operated her own consulting firm, Cossitt Consulting.

Affordable Housing – Trends in Montana and Models for Improving Access 1.25 CM

 

This presentation would provide a summary of the research into access to affordable housing in Montana, as well as, specific policy solutions and models to improve access to affordable housing. The presentation will include representation from the Montana Budget and Policy Center (MBPC), a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization focused on public policies and their impact on low- and moderate-income families in Montana. MBPC is currently working on a series of reports on affordable housing issues in Montana, including an interactive online map to provide county-level data on renter affordability. The Montana Housing Coalition is aimed at advancing statewide policies to invest in and improve access to affordable housing. Housing Coalition members participating will share specific policy goals, as well as, local solutions that improve access to affordable housing.

 

Adrienne Bombelles  Montana Budget and Policy Center

  • Adrienne Bombelles is a policy analyst with the Montana Budget and Policy Center. Her work focuses on policies that impact child health, access to affordable housing, and economic mobility for working families. Adrienne’s professional background is rooted in working with community-based organizations and contributing analysis that advances direct impact and public policy goals. Originally from D.C., she moved to Montana as an AmeriCorps volunteer and served in a range of positions supporting conservation, college access, and early education. She recently earned a Master's of Social Work from the University of Michigan, concentrating in social welfare policy, nonprofit program evaluation, and organizational development.

Sheila Rice  NeighborWorks Great Falls

  • Sheila Rice retired as Executive Director of NeighborWorks Great Falls in February 2018, after 15 years. For 12 years, she was also executive director of NeighborWorks Montana. Both organizations are community development and housing organizations. She is currently president of the Montana Housing Coalition, the statewide voice for workforce housing advocates. She holds a BS from the College of Great Falls (now Providence University) and MBA from the University of Montana.

Heather McMillin  Homeword, Inc.

  • Heather McMilin is the Housing Development Director for Homeword, based in Missoula. Heather directs all aspects of the organization’s development activities based on strategic initiatives. After graduating with a Master of Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Montana State University, Heather moved to Missoula in 1998 where she worked with several different architectural firms and deepened her understanding of the need for more sustainable building practices in construction and development. Heather has nineteen years of professional experience in architecture and development, including fifteen years of experience at Homeword as Housing Project Manager and Housing Development Director and has completed 18 affordable housing projects.

9:30 - 10:45 AM  

The Kalispell Downtown Plan – A battle for the heart of our community 1.25 CM

 

US 93 traverses Kalispell from south to north serving as our Main Street. As Main Street (US 93) enters our downtown from the south it splits going around both sides of our County Court House, an iconic 3 story building in the center of our Main Street. The court house was built in 1908. The Court House loop is a major historical feature and serves as a significant traffic calming design and entrance way to our downtown. Our Down Town was un-intentionally impacted in 1983 when Main Street from just north of the court house extending through our traditional downtown was reconstructed giving the city 4 travel lanes , parallel parking lanes on both sides and reduced downtown sidewalks from 16 feet to 10 feet in width. Then, in 1994, an environmental impact statement was completed by MDT stating finding that the entire Highway 93 corridor from Somers (7 miles south) to Whitefish (15 miles north) shall be 4 lane to accommodate future traffic. At the same time a $135 million US 93 By-pass was planned for the west side of Kalispell to accommodate future traffic growth and eliminate truck traffic in the down town, a fact not acknowledged by the 1994 EIS. Today, the By-Pass is completed. The only piece of roadway from Somers to Whitefish that is still 2-lane is the stretch around our Courthouse. MDT announced plans to re-construct this section to a 4-lane highway width based on the 1994 EIS. This design will allow traffic to almost double on Main Street in the next 20 years, a statistic that is untenable. The Kalispell Down town has rallied, a downtown development plan has been crafted which promotes a 3-lane road segment for our main street (US 93) and supports maintaining the court house loop as a two lane thus preserving the future of our Down Town. The plan also proposes a TIF district, improved pedestrian accessibility, parking, sidewalk upgrades, mixed use, etc.

 

Objective: An opportunity to follow the development of an in-house plan that harnessed the imagination and support of the entire down town and city council and has helped spur the resurgence of hope and vitality in our down town. The presentation will focus on the grass roots development of the plan, the one on one public involvement process (over 100 personal meetings) with business owners and tenants, meetings with every community organization, and the development and adoption of a plan on a shoe string budget over a two year time frame. In addition, there will be opportunity to explore the process of tactfully confronting a state agency with a mission (MDT) and helping them to see alternatives to possibly out dated mandates hopefully making winners out of all present. Finally, there will be discussion on creative ways the city is working to make our downtown more viable, with limited funds.

Tom Jentz, AICP  City of Kalispell

  • Tom Jentz has served as the Director of the Kalispell Planning, Building and Community Development Department since 2005. From 2001 – 2005 Tom served as the director of the former Tri-City Planning Office serving the cities of Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls and from 1983 to 2001 he served in various capacities including director of the former Flathead Regional Development Office which provided joint planning services to Flathead County and its three cities. Tom was also the City Planner for Lewiston, Idaho from 1979-1983 and served as the land use planner for a five-county planning office in southeastern North Dakota from 1977-1979. He received a Master's Degree in Community and Regional Planning from North Dakota State University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). He has a fabulous wife and 3 phenomenal children.

Building Watershed Community Resilience: Water and Land Use Planning 1.25 CM

 

As if land use planning isn’t challenging enough, adding water management into the equation really complicates the picture. Many river basins are closed to new water rights, water demands are increasing while water supplies are not, and climate change means snowpack is melting earlier. As urban communities grow and expand into the rural and agricultural areas of Montana, what are the potential impacts to our water supplies and how do we consider and plan for our water future? This presentation will cover the basics of water rights and hydrology and will illustrate different integrated planning scenarios, with an in-depth look at how development can change water management in rural communities.

 

Ann Schwend   Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation

  • Ann Schwend received both her BS and MSc from Montana State University and has worked in land and water planning since 1995. She served as Conservation District supervisor for the Ruby Valley CD for 17 years and on the Madison County Planning board during the high growth years of 1998-2008. Since 2208 she has worked as a water resource planner for MT DNRC in the Upper Missouri and Clark Fork Basins. She is passionate about working with communities to bring science and people together to solve local resource challenges and build the connections to improve watershed resilience across broad landscapes.

9:30 AM - 12:15 PM  

Planning for Resilience: A Look at Hazard Mitigation Planning 2.75 CM

 

Drought, wildfire and flooding.  Montana is particularly vulnerable to these natural hazards and this session focuses on current planning efforts that look at these hazards.  Most communities have a local hazard mitigation plan that identify their vulnerabilities to natural hazards, especially since these plans are required to receive federal funding pre and post disaster.  The session will provide an introduction to hazard mitigation planning, offering a general overview of mitigation plan requirements and how the hazard mitigation planning process can be leveraged for other local plans that are looking to integrate natural hazards.  Secondly, the session will look at the financial reasons why mitigation makes sense and discuss current mitigation projects in Montana.  Listen and chat with Montana State Mitigation Specialist Nadene Wadsworth and FEMA Region VIII Senior Planner Nicole Aimone.

 

Nicole Aimone, FEMA Region VIII

  • Nicole Aimone is the Senior Community Planner for FEMA Region VIII (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming) where she manages the Mitigation Planning program, assists state, tribal, and local governments with natural hazard mitigation planning and coordinates on hazard mitigation grants. Nicole’s background is in environmental land use planning and environmental policy.  Nicole’s prior experience includes working in FEMA Region II and for the City of New York.   Nicole earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University and a Master’s degree in Urban Planning, specializing in Environmental and Infrastructure Planning from New York University.

 

Nadene Wadsworth, Montana Disaster and Emergency Services

  • Nadene Wadsworth is a mitigation coordinator with Montana Disaster and Emergency Services, she assists with managing the mitigation program. This includes mitigation planning, and utilizing FEMA mitigation grants to conduct risk reduction measures from natural hazards in the developed environment. Nadene’s background is in emergency management. Nadene’s prior experience includes the interim State Hazard Mitigation Officer for Montana.

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM - Break Sponsored by Land Solutions
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM 

Haskill Basin Conservation Easement: protecting a municipal water supply and securing permanent public access on over 3000 acres of forested lands. 1.25 CM

 

In February of 2016, the Haskill Basin Conservation Easement was officially finalized and recorded between the City of Whitefish, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Company completing an over 2 year long process.  The project permanently protects the City’s municipal water supply and secures permanent public access and recreational opportunities on over 3,000 acres of forested lands surrounding Whitefish.  The City of Whitefish identified the importance of Haskill Creek, 2nd Creek, and 3rd Creek within their 2007 Whitefish City-County Growth Policy to protect the City’s domestic water supply, of which approximately 75% comes from the Haskill Basin area.  This project is a great example of public and private partnerships working to preserve the future of a community.

 

John Muhlfield  Mayor, City of Whitefish

  • John is the Principal Hydrologist for River Design Group and the City of Whitefish Mayor since 2012;  Originally from the Northeast corner of the US, John received his degree in Geoscience and Water Resources from Hobart Collage in Upstate New York.  He has over 22 years of professional experience including work with the Forest Service, the State of Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation as a Forest Hydrologist, and as the Project Manager and lead Restoration Hydrologist for River Design Group.  He has worked on a number of large-scale restoration projects across Montana including the O’Dell Spring Creek and wetland restoration project, and the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex involving the headwaters of the Blackfoot River.

Affordable Housing in Rising Markets: How Statewide Non-Profits are Working with Communities Across Montana 1.25 CM

 

Representatives of Trust Montana, Montana Cooperative Development Center, Neighborworks, and Homeward are working in very different ways to increase affordable housing across Montana. In this session, they will present their programs to expand affordable rentals and shared equity ownership. They will discuss challenges and opportunities, including those that arise at the local government level. Anne Cossitt will moderate the session, starting with a brief overview of the emerging role of local governments and planning in affordable housing.

 

This session is intended to stimulate discussion about what is working in Montana and where improvements are needed, particularly at the local government and planning department level.

 

Specifically, the session will include the following educational objectives:

  1. Better understanding of and connection to these non-profit resources that have provided hundreds of affordable housing units statewide

  2. Learn how other local Montana governments are working with these programs

  3. An initial understanding of Montana affordable housing in a national context

 

Anne Cossit, AICP  WGM Group

  • Anne Cossitt, AICP, has practiced land use planning for a variety of venues and purposes including state and federal EIS analysis, community development, city and county growth policies and disaster mitigation planning. Ms. Cossitt has provided facilitation for the US Forest Service, National Park Service, US BLM, and Montana FWP. She has worked in more than 40 of Montana’s 56 counties and six of Montana’s seven Indian reservations. Prior to joining WGM Group in 2017, she was Chief of the Planning Bureau at the Montana Department of Commerce. For most of her career, Ms. Cossitt operated her own consulting firm, Cossitt Consulting.

Jan Brown  Montana Cooperative Development Center

  • Janice Brown became executive director of the Montana Cooperative Development Center in July 2015. She supervises a statewide network of cooperative development specialists who are trained to assist new co-op leaders across Montana and eastern Idaho. Jan has 40 years of experience in the private, nonprofit and government sectors specializing in recreation/tourism enterprises, organizational development, and natural resource policy. A graduate of the Oregon State University School of Forestry, Jan has spent her entire career in Idaho and Montana including 10 years of operating her own guest lodge near Yellowstone National Park.

Hermina Harold  Trust Montana

  • Hermina is Trust Montana’s first Executive Director. She has been working at the North-Missoula Community Development Corporation (NMCDC), Montana’s longest-running community land trust organization, for the majority of the past decade — co-managing the development of NMCDC’s commercial food hub building, establishing Burns Street Center’s neighborhood food programs, and working with home owners in the 47-unit CLT housing program. During this time, as an NMCDC employee, she also helped to establish Trust Montana.

Danielle Maiden  NeighborWorks Montana

  • Danielle is NeighborWorks Montana’s Cooperative Housing Specialist. She works with our resident owned communities (ROCs) and works toward promoting affordable and manufactured housing cooperatives. Danielle currently is serving on the board of Trust Montana and the United Way Allocations Panel. She is passionate about her work and has a deep desire to help the greater good by providing people with resources to better themselves and their families. When she is not at work, Danielle loves enjoying all that the Montana outdoors has to offer through kayaking, hiking, hunting and camping with her husband and son.

Heather McMillin  Homeword, Inc.

  • Heather McMilin is the Housing Development Director for Homeword, based in Missoula. Heather directs all aspects of the organization’s development activities based on strategic initiatives. After graduating with a Master of Architecture degree and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Montana State University, Heather moved to Missoula in 1998 where she worked with several different architectural firms and deepened her understanding of the need for more sustainable building practices in construction and development. Heather has nineteen years of professional experience in architecture and development, including fifteen years of experience at Homeword as Housing Project Manager and Housing Development Director and has completed 18 affordable housing projects.

12:30 - 1:30 PM LUNCH - Sponsored by the West Central Chapter of APA

Montana Association of Planners Annual Membership Meeting

 

Agenda

  • Introduction of Board

  • MAP Board Update

  • Review Call to Action and Guiding Principals of MAP

  • 2019 Conference Update (hint, it's at a hot springs in Park County)