by Evelyn Pyburn-published in the 4/22/16 issue of the Yellowstone County News print edition. (Please inform the public as these meeting will finalize the future of Lockwood growth and zoning- See meeting time below)
The final draft of the Lockwood Growth Policy is scheduled for review at a public hearing before the Yellowstone County Commissioners on May 17, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. at the County Courthouse.
The commissioners will act on a Resolution of Intent to Adopt the Lockwood Growth Policy at its meeting on May 3, and officially set the public hearing date, at which citizens are encouraged to comment on the completed plan which is available for public view.
A futuristic map of Lockwood that shows plans about how Lockwood should be developed is included in this issue of Yellowstone County News.
The draft plan designates Johnson Lane as the future center of the community, in a style in keeping with most small town main streets. It is to be surrounded by residential areas — on the east side by residential areas with four to six dwellings per acre, and on the west side, seven to ten dwellings per acre. An emphasis of the Lockwood Growth Policy is to increase the density of Lockwood, however, in recognizing a lot of ag use around Lockwood, it does not suggest changing that use.
The Growth Policy has been developed over the past year during meetings of the Lockwood Planning Steering Committee, under the direction of the City County Planning Department. Candi Millar, Planning Director, explained that a growth policy is not a regulatory document, but a guiding document in Yellowstone County. It is, however, necessary to have a Growth Policy for zoning of the proposed Targeted Economic Development District (TEDD). As a tax increment district, the TEDD must be zoned in accordance with a Growth Policy. Big Sky Economic Development, a county agency, is in the planning process of creating a TEDD in support of building an industrial park in Lockwood.
The Growth Policy proposes that the area of the TEDD – an area north of the railroad tracks and the interstate — to remain much as it is, industrial and manufacturing. On the other side of the interstate, in the vicinity of the new location of Bretz RV and Marine, the area will be designated for commercial development, again largely in keeping with the way it is already developing.
Property owners in other areas of Lockwood may still determine their own zoning or development plans with approval of the County Commissioners.
Editors Note: The Yellowstone County Planning Department will have a public hearing for the Lockwood Growth on Tuesday April 26th at 6pm in the 1st Floor conference room at 2825 3rd Ave. North in Billings. All are encouraged to attend as this will set the zoning and future development of Lockwood. The information that is finalized at the meeting will be proposed to Yellowstone County Commissioners for Final approval.