Kevin and Janice Campion have filed suit against the City of Boulder concerning its growth policy.
The Campion’s own roughly 35 acres of land that is not located within the city limits, but does lie within one mile of its borders, according to the suit filed in early February in Jefferson County District Court.
At issue is a Future Land Use Map included in the city’s growth policy, which was updated in 2018.
The map uses colored areas depicting possible future land uses by the city — and these shaded areas extend a mile beyond Boulder’s limits, according to the suit.
Under Montana law, a city can include areas located one mile outside its boundaries if it forms a city-county planning board or increases the membership of any existing city planning board to include two representatives from the unincorporated area to be affected, and appointed by the board of county commissioners, according to the suit.
To date, a city-county planning board has not been created, nor does the existing city planning board include two representatives from the county, according to the suit.
To support its case, the suit refers to a 2018 ruling, Wygal v. Board of Adjustment, where the court found that Boulder had failed to comply with state statute and therefore the city has no authority to extend its jurisdiction outside its limits.
On the Campions property that lies west side of I-15, the map appears to call for residential, according to the growth policy.
Land falling under that designation is where housing should be the primary focus, according to the growth policy.
The suit alleges that the growth policy unlawfully attempts to impose land use restrictions on properties outside the Boulder city limits, violating Montana statute and the Wygal ruling.
In referring to the Future Land Use Map, the growth policy states that it doesn’t regulate development proposals, but instead intends to serve as a guide for future growth and development.
It goes on to state that development proposals in the one mile area outside city limits should be reviewed collaboratively between the city and the county.
The suit calls for the court to declare the growth policy and Future Land Use map null and void and having no effect with regards to property lying outside the city limits.
The suit also asks the court to declare that the growth policy and Future Land Use Map have no effect on the Campion’s properties. The suit also asks that the city pay the Campion’s legal fees.
The City Council was scheduled to be notified of the suit at its Feb. 16 meeting.