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Bozeman Health Subarea Plan Drafting Begins, Following Robust Public Engagement

Community news | Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Contact: Brianne Rogers

Draft framework embraces innovation to ensure future access to care and preserve Highland Glen

BOZEMAN, MT [January 17, 2023] — Following six months of public engagement, drafting has begun on Bozeman Health’s subarea plan, which will guide how best to structure vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods on undeveloped land owned by the health system across Highland Boulevard from Bozeman Health Deaconess Regional Medical Center.

While state statute requires only minimal public outreach, Bozeman Health recognizes the significant community interest in potential future uses of their property and endeavored as a caring community partner to go above and beyond this requirement. The system engaged Sanderson Stewart, a local community design and planning company, to lead a new subarea planning process, including robust public engagement. Over the past six months, the system has held five constiuent meetings, three neighborhood meetings, four public open house events and had over 1,500 site visits from over 1,000 unique visitors including over 170 completed surveys through their investment in a private license to utilize the Engage Bozeman platform.

The draft framework that was shared with the public in October includes a number of key elements that establish the bones of good neighborhoods and reflect the themes of Bozeman’s 2020 Community Plan. Central to the plan is reserving space for future growth of medical and commercial services that will support the system’s healthcare mission and ensuring the regional medical center can continue to serve the essential care needs of the region.

Of equal focus is a visionary intent to preserve and enhance Highland Glen as a protected open space with public access. This is proposed to be accomplished not only through a requested change in land use designation, but also elevated by multiple framework innovations. These include ensuring public access with linear parks that create a transitional buffer to and improved viewsheds in the natural area, an active transportation network as an alternative to city streets bisecting the Glen, development of a trailhead node off of Kagy Boulevard to increase ease of access to the property, and requesting the relocation of a commercial node currently envisioned for that area.

The health system has no current plans to develop their agricultural land and is updating the property’s existing 2006 subarea plan at the request of the City of Bozeman. A subarea plan applies the goals and objectives established in the 2020 Community Plan to a smaller area, district, or neighborhood—it is a high-level overview of how to structure vibrant, sustainable neighborhoods. Any future development would require adherence to the City’s Subdivision, Master Site Plan, and Site Plan processes.

The draft of the subarea plan will be released this spring for a 30-day public comment period, after which the plan will be finalized and submitted to the City this summer. Then, the plan will go before the Community Development Board and ultimately the City Commission, allowing for further opportunities for public engagement.

More information can be found at