Bozeman School District, High School #2

City of Bozeman, Agency Exemption Hearing, May 7, 2018


In design of the High School #2 (HS2) property, located at 4455 Annie Street, the Bozeman School District has notified the City of Bozeman of anticipated zoning and parking exemptions.   The HS2 design and site plan have some elements that are contrary to local zoning regulations, which requires notification and public hearing (Montana law - MCA 76-2-402).

MCA 76-2-402

Local zoning regulations -- application to agencies. Whenever an agency proposes to use public land contrary to local zoning regulations, a public hearing, as defined below, shall be held.

     (1) The local board of adjustments, as provided in this chapter, shall hold a hearing within 30 days of the date the agency gives notice to the board of its intent to develop land contrary to local zoning regulations.

     (2) The board shall have no power to deny the proposed use but shall act only to allow a public forum for comment on the proposed use.

BSD7 Board of Trustees:

At the February 12 public meeting, the BSD7 Board of Trustees received an update regarding the design of the HS2 Property.  In addition, the Board discussed the zone exemptions that would be forwarded to the City of Bozeman.  The BSD7 Administration recommended that the Board of Trustees approve the HS2 design update and the indicated zoning and parking exemptions.  After discussion and public comment, the Board voted to approve HS2 design update as well as the list of zoning exemptions.

Here is a web link to our Board of Trustees Agendas:

Site Plan & Agency Exemptions:

Below is a preliminary landscape design drawing and a list of exemptions presented to the Board on February 12, as well as District rationale for the exemption:

Flanders Mill Road is on the top of the diagram and Cottonwood Road is on the bottom.  Annie street runs through the middle of the property.  The proposed high school sits at the left and Meadowlark School property to the right.


Sec. 38.25.040 of the City of Bozeman Uniform Development Code (COB/UDC) does not permit off-site parking.

Rationale: The site plan / design calls for 615 parking stalls in the on-site parking lots.  Our planning consultants have estimated that approximately 415 stalls would be needed for students, staff and visitors on a typical school day.  Approximately 870 spaces would be needed during occasional large school events.  This exemption will allow the District to use on-street parking on Annie Street between Flanders MIll and Cottonwood and Flanders Mill to augment the on-site parking for occasional large events.  We estimate that this section of Annie and Flanders Mill can accommodate 258 parking spaces.  Parking will not be permitted on Cottonwood or Oak as these are arterials.

Parking Lot Landscaping

Sec. 38.26.050.C of the COB/UDC requires that parking lots with more than 15 spaces shall have a minimum of 20sf of landscape area within the parking lot for each off-street parking space in a lot.

Rationale:  The primary rationale for this exemption is to maintain clear lines of site to enhance school safety.  The intent is to provide better visual access and a higher level of safety for the students within the parking lots. The District follows best practices to enhance student safety and security when designing our parking lots. This practice has been endorsed by the Bozeman Police Department.  In addition, this type of design is considered best practice by national research (CPTED) regarding school safety.  

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is defined as a multi-disciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. CPTED strategies rely upon the ability to influence offender decisions that precede criminal acts by affecting the built, social and administrative environment.

CPTED tries to decrease the conditions perceived as unsafe and increase the conditions perceived as safe. The CPTED school program uses six basic strategies — natural surveillance, access management, territoriality, physical maintenance, order maintenance and activity support.

Natural surveillance

This is design and placement of physical features in such a way as to maximize visibility. These features include windows, walkways, assembly areas, corridors, stairways, doors and lighting. The objective is to provide an environment in which you can see and be seen, to eliminate hiding or hard-to-see places, and thereby increase the perception of a human presence. For instance, in choosing landscaping material, schools should make sure that the material provides benefit without blocking views.

Parking Lot Screening

Sec. 38.26.050.C.2.a.(1) of the COB/UDC requires parking lot screening when adjacent to residential areas with 4’-6’ high fence or shrub.

Rationale: The parking lots at the new High School will be more than 50’ from the public way and screened with 3’ high berms and tree groupings. The height of the berms on the site are restricted to 3’ due to security concerns.  As stated in the previous rationale, maintaining lines of site are a recommended practice from national experts who have studied school safety.  The CPTED, Natural Surveillance strategy encourages placement of physical features in such a way as to maximize visibility.

Trees provided in public right-of-way

Sec. 38.26.050.E.3 of the COB/UDC requires street trees be provided in the public right-of-way.

Rationale: The proposed trees have been placed outside of the public right-of-way to allow the tree roots to grow without damaging to the asphalt paths. In total, the landscape plan calls for more than 200 trees.  The landscape plan calls for those trees to be located where it makes the most sense for the functionality of the school, while enhancing the views of adjacent property owners.  In addition, trees placed in the public right-of-way along Annie street would be a safety concern for walking students, who will be crossing that road frequently to access the south portion of the campus.

Irrigation Standards

Sec. 38.26.050.I of the COB/UDC requires that all landscaped areas be provided with permanent irrigation.

Rationale:  Approximately 70% of the available site will be permanently irrigated lawn and athletic playing fields.  The site will include several areas (approximately 30%) of non-irrigated native grass. This design is to reduce water consumption. Seeding will be timed to take advantage of nature’s wet cycle. All other areas will receive permanent irrigation.  

Early in the planning and design process, the Board of Trustees asked that we consider following sustainable building design standards for the construction and ongoing operations of the school.  To this end, the District is seeking to obtain Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Certification.  This program is similar to LEED Certification (US Green Building Council), however the CHPS certification is specific to school buildings.

The CHPS National Core Criteria (Core Criteria) address indoor environmental quality, energy and water efficiency, site and materials selection, strategies for integration and innovation, and operations and metrics.

The CHPS Core Criteria was developed to achieve three priority outcomes, in order of importance:

The CHPS National Technical Committee has weighted the available point totals for prerequisites and mandatory offerings in seven categories to reflect these three priorities.

The use of native grasses, which won’t require permanent irrigation, will help the District meet the outcome of water conservation, which is part of the CHPS priorities.  In addition, water conservation can help reduce ongoing operational costs.

Landscape Points

Sec. 38.26.060 of the COB/UDC outlines Landscape Performance Standards.

Rationale: The following points are anticipated to be earned: a. The installation of drought tolerant species for 75% or greater of the number of trees and shrubs. b. Provide of one percent increments of lot area covered by publicly accessible pedestrian facilities and features such as plazas, courtyards, seating areas and outdoor recreation facilities.

As per MCA 76-2-402, the District and its design consultants from CTA will participate in the City of Bozeman, Agency Exemption Hearing to be held on May 7, 2018 at the City Commission Meeting.

If you have questions or comments on this proposed list of exemptions and rationale, please don’t hesitate to contact:

Rob Watson


Bozeman Public Schools


The City invites the public to comment in writing.  Written comments may be directed to ATTN: City of Bozeman, Department of Community Development, PO Box 1230, Bozeman, MT 59771-1230

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