Bozeman’s newly formed citizen advisory boards have a busy schedule.
The five boards, which handle issues including development reviews, advising on transportation planning and working on diversity equity and inclusion issues, all recently passed plans that will guide their work over the next two years.
During a city commission meeting this week, staff members presented the work plans, which included specific goals and broad issues the board will address.
The Sustainability Board’s work is largely informed by the climate plan passed in 2020 that included six focus areas and 64 action items.
The city’s lofty and numerous climate goals mean that the board has a lot on its plate. During Tuesday’s meeting, Strategic Services Director Jon Henderson said climate work requires “this kind of commitment.”
Henderson rattled off a slew of focuses for the board, including helping with an overhaul of the unified development code and the creation of model homeowners covenants, working on a study of sensitive lands in the Gallatin Valley, pushing building electrification and helping the city create a pilot residential curbside composting program.
“We have grappled intensely, internally, externally to the organization to make sure that the work that I’ve listed is going to leave the most impact, is going to provide the most return on that investment,” Henderson said. “But I’ll be honest in saying there are absolutely things that we don’t know today that could present themselves that could become obstacles.”
The Community Development Board is also going to be busy. That board took on the responsibilities of the former planning board, zoning commission, impact fee advisory committee and design review board.
Part of its work in reviewing development applications will stay consistent, Community Development Manager Chris Saunders said, but the board is also focused on updates to the unified development code and affordable housing text amendment reviews.
Affordable housing is an issue a few boards are looking at. The Economic Vitality board also has housing on its agenda, including looking at short-term rental restrictions, the unified development code overhaul and a new affordable housing ordinance.
The Economic Vitality board is also planning to work on the city’s economic development strategy and help develop a diversity, equity and inclusion plan.
Equity work is also on the agenda for the Urban Parks and Forestry board, which has plans to work on an assessment of the equity of the distribution and access to parks and trails, Parks and Recreation Director Mitch Overton said.
That board is also planning to help guide a city plan touching on parks, recreation, open space and trails through the process and assist in the establishment of a city wetland bank.
The Transportation Board has a few things on tap, including looking at implementing paid parking in downtown Bozeman and other associated parking plans, like an employee permit parking system and parking benefit zones.
City Manager Jeff Mihelich, who is the temporary staff liaison to the board, said they are also focusing on pedestrian, bike and traffic safety work and multi-modal transportation.