Tuesday October 3, 2023


          ALL PRESENT:  Commissioner Ostlund, Chair, Commissioners Morse, and Jones; Board Clerk Teri Reitz; Clerk and Recorder Jeff Martin.


          MINUTES – September 5, 2023, September 12, 2023, and September 19, 2023.  Commissioner Morse made a MOTION to approve the Minutes, Commissioner Jones seconded.  Passed Unanimous. 

          9:30 a.m. BID OPENING – A.)  Bid Opening for MontanaFair Carnival Operator 2024-2024.  B.)  Bid Opening for 2024 RSID Chip Seal and Crack Seal Project.

          9:30 a.m. ZONE CHANGE PUBLIC HEARINGS – A.)  County Zone Change 720 – 2424 S 48th Street W – Agricultural (A) to Large Lot Suburban Neighborhood.  Ms. Karen Husman, Planner stated this is a request from Agriculture (A) to 70.63 acres of N4 and 31.15 acres of C3, on the NE Ό of Section 28, Township 1S, Range 25 E, south and east of the BBWA canal except C/S 1590, a 101.78-acre parcel of land.  Commissioner Ostlund opened the Public Hearing.  One person spoke in favor of the proposed Zone Change.  Hearing no other comments Commissioner Ostlund closed the public hearing.  Commissioner Jones made a MOTION to approve Zone Change 720, Commissioner Morse seconded.  Passed Unanimous.  B.)   County Zone Change 721 -- Text Amendment to adopt permanent regulations for Marijuana Businesses --
In November 2021, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) adopted Interim Zoning Regulations pertaining to the operation of marijuana businesses within the jurisdictional zoning area of the County (4.5-mile jurisdiction surrounding the City of Billings). The BOCC extended the interim regulations for one additional year in November 2022. The interim regulations will expire on November 23, 2023. No further extension of the regulations is allowed by state law. Permanent regulations must be adopted. The Planning staff has prepared a report on its study of the impact of the land use in the County and has devised permanent regulations for marijuana businesses based on this study. The text amendment will modify Sections 27- 803.C, 27-1000, 270-1005, 27-1006, 27-1009, 27-1010, 27-1400, 27-1504 and 27-1800 of the Yellowstone County Zoning Regulations (December 2020).  Ms. Nicole Cromwell, Zoning Coordinator went through the staff report and went through the eleven criteria.  Commissioner Ostlund opened the Public Hearing.  Five people spoke in opposition of the proposed regulations.  Commissioner Ostlund asked Ms. Cromwell what the process is to make the regulations permanent.  Ms. Cromwell stated that the public hearing is being held today and if the resolution of intent is passed there will be a 30 day wait period for the final resolution to voted on.  Ms. Monica Plecker, Planning Division Manager stated that this public hearing is for the permanent marijuana regulations, it is not for the business’s compliancy issues.  Commissioner Morse made a MOTION to approve Zone Change 721, Commissioner Jones seconded.  Passed Unanimous. 

          PUBLIC COMMENTS ON REGULAR, CONSENT AND FILED AGENDA ITEMS – Hearing no comments Commissioner Ostlund continued the Board Meeting. 

          COMMISSIONERS – Resolution 23-108 Regarding Assessment of Tax Mills.  Commissioner Jones made a MOTION to approve Resolution 23-108, Commissioner Morse seconded. Passed Unanimous. 

          PLANNING DEPARTMENT – Resolution 23-104 of Intent to Allow Time for Compliance with Marijuana Zoning Regulations – Setting of Public Hearing for October 24, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 3108.  Ms. Monica Plecker, Planning Division Manager stated the County has a comprehensive zoning code which regulates all land uses including retail.  Upon legalization of adult use marijuana, the County adopted interim Zoning Regulations providing detail regulations to marijuana businesses of all types.  The County has studied the matter and is in the process of making permanent the final regulations.  There are seven businesses with zoning compliance issues that should be resolved.  Ms. Plecker gave the definition of an illegal business in the context of zoning, which is a business that is not in compliance with the zoning regulations or was not lawfully allowed prior to the adoption of the regulations.  Ms. Plecker gave the definition of an illegal business in the context of zoning, which is a business that is not in compliance with the zoning regulations.  Ms. Plecker explained that these businesses cannot be “grandfathered” because of definition 27-1800 – Nonconforming Use:  A use or activity that was lawful prior to the adoption, revision. Or amendment of this Zoning Code.  In December 2021, the Planning Division notified businesses of zoning code conflicts.  Ms. Plecker also noted that conflicting information was sent out in 2022 by the County Attorney’s Office notifying businesses they were not in violation of the temporary restrictions.  Ms. Plecker stated back in March that the County adopted Resolution 23-25 which was specific to these illegal businesses, and it did put them on notice that the county had intentions of figuring out how to deal with these compliance issues and was potentially considering sunsetting businesses that cannot be in compliance.  It did identify a 24-month period after the adoption of permanent zoning regulations.  This is a resolution that the commissioners are not bound by it was a resolution that says we recognize that this is a thing, we know that we have intentions of making permanent interim regulations and we are intending to move forward with these nonconforming businesses.  Ms. Plecker went through the seven locations of non-compliant businesses.  Ms. Plecker stated that Granite Peak Distributing is in Neighborhood Mixed Use (NMU) Zoning which does allow for retail sales.  Granite Peak does meet the definition of conforming where all 6 other businesses don’t.  Granite Peak does not meet the marijuana regulations as NMU is not a zone which allows dispensaries.  Options for Granite Peak are to apply for a CMU zone change to achieve compliance – The business would be legal by right and not considered nonconforming or the County Commissioners could provide guidance that you feel this business is different from the other businesses and remove them from the list if you consider sunsetting.  Those are the options for Granite Peak, and this is unique to this business only.  Ms. Plecker stated that the remaining 6 businesses can’t be grandfathered because of their nonconforming use, which is – A use or activity that was unlawful prior to adoption, revision, or amendment of this Zoning Code.  The options for these businesses moving forward are to prepare and submit a zone change application or move part or all of the business to a new location with the proper zoning, or outside the zoning jurisdiction.  The action by the Board of County Commissioners today is to approve Resolution of Intent 23-104 to set public hearing for October 24, 2023, and provide additional guidance to staff.  Commissioner Morse made a MOTION to approve Resolution 23-104, Commissioner Jones seconded.  Passed Unanimous.        

          PUBLIC WORKS – Resolution 23-107 to Appoint the Board of Viewers for Abandonment of a Portion of N 21 Road.  Commissioner Morse made a MOTION to approve Resolution 23-107, Commissioner Jones seconded.  Passed Unanimous. 

          CLAIMS – Batches 24-038, 24-039, 24-040, 24-041, 24-042, 24-043 and 24-044.  Commissioner Jones made a MOTION to approve the Claims, Commissioner Morse seconded.  Passed Unanimous. 

CONSENT AGENDA – 1.  CLERK AND RECORDER – A.)  Plat of the Highlands Ranch Subdivision, 2nd Filing, and the S.I.A.  B.)  The Plat of The Meadows, S.I.A., and the Acceptance of the Public Access, Well, Dry Hydrant, and Utility Easements.  2.  COMMISSIONERS – A.)  Board Appointment – Annalisa Jones to Youth Services Center.  B.)  Board Openings – Updated List.  C.)  MOU for Helicopter Maintenance and Piloting.  3.  EMERGENCY AND GENERAL SERVICES – A.)  FY23-24 Volunteer Fire Capacity Grant Award.  B.)  Fy23-24 Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Award Letter.  4.  FINANCE – A.)  Bond for Lost Warrant.  B.)  ARPA Project Tracking through 9/18/23.  C.)  MetraPark Concessions, Request to Expend, Replacement Oven and Salamander.  D.)  I.T. Memorandum of Understanding with City of Billings; Conduit & Exterior Data Vault Utilization.  E.)  Metra ARPA Infrastructure, Change Order #4 with Askin Construction – Lower Lot & Expo Lot.  F.)  Application, Award Letter, and Contract for HB821 Invasive Woody Tree Management Grant Program for Salt Cedar Project.  G.)  Lockwood TEDD Infrastructure Project – Rescoping.  H.)  Substance Abuse Connects Fiscal Year 2024 Distribution Recommendation.  I.)  Metra Contract with Sprague Roofing for NILE Building Roofing Replacement.  J.)  MetraPark AIA Contract with Cushing Terrell for Architectural Services for Northwest Concessions.  K.)  State Homeland Security Program (SHSP). L.)  Recommendation of Award – Yellowstone County Audit Services to JCCS Public Accountants.  5.  METRAPARK – NILE Lease – Metra Grounds.  6.  PLANNING DEPARTMENT – Recommendation of Award West Billings Plan to Sanderson Stewart.  7.  PUBLIC WORKS – A.)  Release of Seiffert Industrial Subdivision.  B.)  Striping Contract with Streamline Markings for Fall 2023.  C.)  Contract with Sanderson Stewart for On-Call Traffic Engineering Services.  D.)  CRS Re-Certification.  8.  SHERIFF – Benton Media Agreement.  9.  HUMAN RESOURCES – A.)  AccusourceHR Agreement.  B.)  Billings Clinic Occupational Health & Wellness Agreement.  C.)  PERSONNEL ACTION REPORTS – County Attorney – 1 Appointment; Detention Facility – 2 Appointments; Motor Vehicle – 2 Terminations; Finance – 1 Salary & Other; Sheriff’s Office – 1 Termination.

FILE ITEMS – 1.  AUDITOR – Payroll Audit September 1 – 15, 2023.  2.  CLERK AND RECORDER – A.)  Board Minutes – MetraPark Advisory Board.  B.)  Closing Documents for Land Described as that part of Section 13, Township 2 North, Range 29 East of the Principal Montana Meridian in Yellowstone County, Montana, described as Tract 1, of Certificate of Survey No. 3217 on file in the office of the Clerk and Recorder of said County, under Document #3316814.  3.  HUMAN RESOURCES – September 1 – September 15 Payroll Audit.  4.  COMMISSIONERS – A.)  2023 Municipal Primary Election Canvass.  B.)  Letter from Governor Gianforte.  5.  PUBLIC WORKS – Contract Amendment No. 1 with In Site Engineering, P.C. for RSID 890C 54th Street West.  6.  TREASURER – Treasurer’s Disbursements and Checks for August 2023.  Commissioner Morse made a MOTION to approve the Consent Agenda and place the File Items to file, Commissioner Jones seconded.  Passed Unanimous.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON COUNTY BUSINESS – Hearing no comments Commissioner Ostlund adjourned the meeting at 11:01 a.m.

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