The Passing of House Bill 507 & What It Means for You

House Bill 507 was passed by the Montana Legislature on May 7, 2017. The bill was proposed to revise laws relating to the review of sanitation for proposed subdivisions and timelines.

Beginning October 1 of this year, the bill required the implementation of a two-year pilot program for the evaluation of all subdivision applications under the Sanitation in Subdivision Act. The pilot program encompasses multiple changes for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) / Local Government Subdivision Sanitation review process.

A brief overview of a few of the additional significant changes brought about by HB 507 that has now been implemented are as follows:

  • The Part 1 Joint Application Form has been revised, and the new form is required when submitting a subdivision application along with a new Element Review Checklist.
  • Applicants can request a voluntary pre-application meeting with the reviewing authority prior to submitting a completed application. This meeting can take place in person, via telephone, or via teleconference.
  • Changes to the Review Timeline: within 15 days of a subdivision application being submitted, it must be reviewed by the reviewing authority to ensure that it is complete and contains all of the required content. A letter must then be sent to both the consultant and the owner of record indicating that all requirements have been fulfilled in the application. If the application is deemed complete, then it is reviewed within the current statutory timelines based on the original submittal date. However, if it is deemed incomplete the application will be set aside, and the review clock will stop. When the project is resubmitted with all of the required information, the review timeline will begin again.

Our team at Territorial-Landworks, Inc. (TLI) has followed this bill as it made its way through the legislature and we have swiftly implemented the changes brought about in response to HB 507 by applying these changes to the subdivision applications submitted to MDEQ and the Local Government for review. We invite you to contact us for your next project requiring subdivision sanitation review so we can prepare a complete application for your project to meet these new requirements. TLI continually follows proposed Legislation and modifies internal processes to ensure the rules and regulations are up to date on all applications.

by Andy Short, AICP, RS, CFM, Missoula Branch Manager