Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Board Opening on City of Helena ADA Compliance Committee, Board of Adjustment, BID/Parking Commission, and Zoning Commission Apply by January 16, 2014!

DATE:  December 18, 2013

CONTACT: Debbie Havens, Clerk of the Commission  447-8410


The City of Helena has the following board openings:
ADA Compliance Committee
One citizen representing the disabled community to serve on the ADA Compliance Committee.  Term will begin upon appointment and expire September 1, 2016.

The ADA Compliance Committee will act as an advisory committee to assist in determination of reasonable accommodations.  The Committee may review requests for reconsideration of complaints forwarded by the ADA Coordinator, may make determinations as to the validity of complaints, and my provide descriptions of the resolution of those grievances that have been appealed.  The Committee may recommend priorities for making structural changes to public facilities, offer suggestions on how to achieve program accessibility, and review and make recommendations on employment practices and accommodations for compliance.

Board of Adjustment
One citizen to serve on the Board of Adjustment and one citizen to serve as the alternate member on the Board of Adjustment.  The board member’s term will begin upon appointment and expire October 1, 2016 and the alternative member’s term will begin upon appointment and expire October 1, 2015.

The five-member board acts on applications for variances in the zoning ordinance. 

Business Improvement District/Helena Parking Commission
One citizen to serve an unexpired term on the Business Improvement District/Helena Parking Commission.    Applicant must be the owner of property within the BID District or be the owner’s personal representative, agent or guardian. The unexpired term will begin upon appointment and expire on October 31, 2014.

City-County Planning Board
One citizen to serve as city representatives on the City-County Planning Board.  The term will begin upon appointment and expire September 1, 2016.

This board shall perform planning functions for the city and county and shall be the sole Planning Board to serve either or both governmental entities.  Duties of this board will be to ensure the promotion of public health, safety, convenience, order, and the general welfare, and for the sake of efficiency and economy in the process of community development, the Board shall prepare a growth policy and serve in an advisory capacity to the local governing bodies establishing said Board.

Zoning Commission
One citizen, residing in the city limits, to serve on the City of Helena Zoning Commission and one citizen, residing in the city limits, to serve as the alternate member on the City of Helena Zoning Commission.  The board member’s term will begin upon appointment and expire September 30, 2016 and the alternate member’s term will begin upon appointment and expire September 30, 2015. 

This board shall perform zoning functions for the city and shall be the sole Zoning Commission for the City of Helena.

Applications are available at or by calling 447-8410 and can be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office, 316 N. Park Avenue, Room 323, Helena, MT 59623.  The deadline for all board applications is 4:00 p.m., Thursday, January 16, 2014.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bringing Back Last Chance Creek!

This next year, during Helena's 150th, a million dollar plus City water project will take place around Front Street near the Great Northern, the recently opened distillery, and the pedestrian underpass connecting downtown to Centennial Park and the Centennial Trail Network. The recent Greening America's Capitals project for Helena outlines how infrastructure improvements can include improved walkability and bringing back the historic creek-now piped under the streets-to the surface: 

[click images to enlarge]

An informative post on Last Chance Stream from "Montana Moments:"

"Some Helenans dispute the fact that Last Chance Stream, or Creek, once flowed through what is now the downtown. But water was the one essential ingredient needed for placer mining, and we know that the discovery site was where the parking lot for the Colwell Building is today. Water had to be present in that immediate area. Further, the first historic Sanborn Maps of Helena, drawn in 1884, clearly show the water source, although by this time it has been diverted underground into a wooden flume."

 - See more at:"


"The discovery men became known as the Four Georgians for reasons the community soon forgot. Historians speculate that since one of the miners was from Georgia, where gold was mined before discoveries in the West, they were probably practicing a Georgian method of placer mining.

In the great frenzy to get at the precious metal, miners soon stripped the landscape of everything green, churned up the soil, and built their buildings along the claims that followed Last Chance Stream through the gulch. In October, residents gathered to properly name the mining camp known as Last Chance."