Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive
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Bozeman City Commissioners just voted Monday to extend Bozeman's temporary ban of vacation rentals within city limits another six months, allowing Airbnb-style operations in some districts until permanent regulations are in place.
The temporary ban of short-term rentals was set six months ago so the city could gather more information and public input to find a fair solution to the concerns some residents had about how short-term rentals would impact their neighborhoods.
Some residents in the downtown neighborhoods are worried that short-term rentals would increase traffic, late-night noise, and degrade the character and charm of their historic neighborhoods. The city also found unaccounted for listings on websites like Airbnb and HomeAway that uncovered some rented homes in Bozeman that have been avoiding the required business and conditional use permits, which were frozen by the interim ordinance.
The city made efforts to gain feedback from the public and study the effects of similar policies in other cities, but they were delayed while focusing on hiring a new planner director. Since encouraging input from residents through public forums and an online survey, the city received about 330 pages of comments to read through.
In Monday's public meeting, some commenters questioned whether the city would be violating the state's landlord-tenant act with these regulations. Others urged the city to make a decision before the summer tourist season arrives.
Four of the five Bozeman City Commissioners voted for the six-month extension of the interim ordinance. The one differing commissioner, I-Ho Pomeroy, proposed a shorter, three-month extension in pushing to get permanent regulations in place sooner. However, the remaining four members disagreed, arguing that the team and staff working on the issue need better information to make the best decision for the community.
Read More About This Subject:
Bozeman Bans Vacation Rentals
School Board Approves $125 Million Plan for 2 Great Bozeman High Schools
MSU Students Design "Small Shelters" For The Homeless
Mid-Rise Buildings To "Doom" Bozeman's Small-Town Charm?
Bozeman commission extends interim vacation rental limits
Gallatin County had remarkable performance in Montana's economy, leading the state in wage growth last year. While it experienced a slight drop in wage growth from 2015 to 2016, the county seems to be in much better shape than the rest of the state.
Gallatin County's total wage income increased by a staggering $73 million in the first half of 2016 from the preceding year. Yellowstone County, the state's largest, lead the state for the first half of 2015, before Gallatin County took its place in the second half. By 2016, Yellowstone County suffered an abrupt slowdown, while Gallatin County lead the state by nearly $40 million ahead of the runner-up, Flathead County.
In 2016, almost every county in Montana had slower growth. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research credited this fact to the substantial increases in Medicaid not carried over to 2016, causing health care wages to drop across the entire state. However, there were unique cases for each region.
Yellowstone County's severe economic slowdown in 2016 was mainly caused by the continued oil slump that devastated Billings' oil producers and energy services. This caused a ripple effect that lowered construction wages and weakened its real estate market.
Butte (Silver Bow County) was another region that experienced a major loss. Although the county's visitor spending increased, a drop in copper prices profoundly impacted mining wages, which declined 28%.
While most of Montana suffered an economic downturn, Gallatin County's performance remains the strongest in the state.
Gallatin County's wage growth in 2016 nearly doubled Montana's next best county.
Much of Gallatin County's slight drop in wage growth from 2015 to 2016 was due to rising housing prices, and strain on its transportation infrastructure. Gallatin County's median home price broke the $300,000 threshold in 2016, higher than the rest of Montana's most populated counties. However, construction, high-tech companies, and tourism continue to drive our county's prosperous growth.
Montana State University's architecture students must have been inspired by the "Tiny House Builders" T.V. show recently, because they're taking concepts from the show to build "Small Shelters" for the homeless.
After a class with MSU's architecture professor, and cooperation with Bozeman's Human Resources Development Council Small Shelter Initiative (HRDC), the students built two prototypes for their "Small Shelter" concept.
They built two full-size models, one large and one small. The large model is 180 square ft (9 ft by 20 ft) and is handicapped accessible. The smaller model is 150 square ft (7.5 ft by 20 ft.). The structures are designed for a sustainable sleeping pad, with a bathroom, shower, small refrigerator, microwave, and eating area.
The students put their two models on display in the northwest corner of the first floor of Cheever Hall at the university in front of the representatives of the city of Bozeman, HRDC, the Southwest Montana Building Industry Association, and the local community to gain feedback and support for their project. I-Ho Pomeroy, the Bozeman City Commissioner, said that she loved how the students found an "attractive solution" to real problem in the local community.
Their next step is to work with local agencies to find a plot of land for these shelters. The MSU architecture professor, Ralph Johnson, says these structures are designed to be located on any unspecified city-owned land and rented by the HRDC. Johnson says the students' goal is to place about 30 structures in several locations around Bozeman. The students are planning to fundraise between $10,000 and $15,000 this spring to build at least one real, full-scale "Small Shelter" for each of their models.
It's great to see students taking the initiative to make a positive impact in the community. Johnson estimates that there are about 100 homeless in Bozeman, and this could be a great temporary solution for them. As we all know, winters are brutal in Montana, and it's hard to imagine anyone surviving on the streets without shelter.
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