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HOUSE BILL NO. 373
INTRODUCED BY C. YOUNKIN, S. ANDERSON, J. BARNETT, T. BECK, G. DEVLIN, D. ECK, A. ELLIS, L. GRINDE, M. HALLIGAN, D. HARGROVE, G. MASOLO, M. MCCANN, K. MESAROS, K. OHS, J. SHOCKLEY, B. STORY, E. SWANSON, C. SWYSGOOD, B. TASH, S. VICK, J. WELLS
AN ACT CLARIFYING HERD DISTRICT LAW BY ESTABLISHING A PETITION PROCESS FOR ANNEXING CONTIGUOUS PROPERTIES INTO AN EXISTING HERD DISTRICT; AND AMENDING SECTION 81-4-301, MCA.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Section 81-4-301, MCA, is amended to read:
"81-4-301. Herd districts -- creation, size, and location. (1) Herd districts may be created in any county in the state
of Montana upon petition of owners or possessors of 55% of the land in
such the district and providing that 25% or more of
the land in such the district is in actual cultivation or being used for residential purposes. Such Herd districts must contain 12
square miles or more, lying not less than 1 mile in width, outside of the incorporated cities, except that herd districts may be
created containing not less than 6 or more than 54 square miles, lying not less than 2 miles in width, when such the territory
joins and is contiguous with the boundaries of a city having a population of 10,000 or more and such the territory so to be
created in a herd district has a suburban population of not less than 200 people.
(2) In formation of
such a herd district the entire holding of any owner or lessee must be included unless such the owner
or lessee consents that less than his the owner or lessee's entire contiguous holdings be included in the petition.
Such The petition shall must designate the months of the year when the herd district is effective, and upon
presentation and filing of such the petition, properly signed, giving the outside boundaries and description of the proposed
district and the post-office address of the petition signers thereto, with the clerk and recorder in the county in which the said
district is being created, the county commissioners of such that county, upon receipt thereof of the petition, shall set a date
for hearing protests and verifying the petition signatures thereto and shall give not less than 20 days' notice of the same
hearing by three publications in a newspaper of general circulation in the county of the proposed district. At the hearing held
pursuant to such the notices, the county commissioners shall examine the petition and shall cause a map to be made in order
to determine the shape and regularity of the boundaries of the proposed district. The commissioners may then establish the
district, but such the district shall be established only in such a manner that the district will be reasonably regular and
symmetrical in shape or practicable in relation to the geographical features of such the district. It is not required that the
boundaries of any a district follow section lines to meet the requirement of reasonably regular and symmetrical boundaries.
(4) Should it appear to
such the county commissioners after such the hearing that the signatures attached to such the
petition were genuine, they shall immediately declare such the herd district created and established ; after which. After
making the declaration, the county commissioners must shall give notice by four weekly publications in some a newspaper
nearest the district of the creation of such the districts district, also stating the period such that the districts district will be in
effect. Such districts shall A district may not be in effect until 30 days have expired after the order.
Upon petition of any owner or possessor of lands lying contiguous and adjoining any herd district theretofore created
and upon like hearing and notice as hereinabove provided for, such lands shall be included in said herd district and become a
part thereof. Should If the signature of lessee appear appears on the petition creating or abolishing any herd district, the
owner or owners of said the land may appear either in person or agent and enter their protest and the board of county
commissioners shall remove the name of the lessee from said the petition, and no a person shall be permitted to may not
withdraw his the person's name after the hour set for hearing same the protest."
Section 2. Annexation into existing herd district. (1) Owners or possessors of land that is contiguous to a herd district may petition to have their property annexed to that district. The petition must be properly signed by all affected owners or possessors of land and must include the post-office address of all petition signers. The petition must state the outside boundaries and a description of the property to be annexed to the existing district. When the petition is filed with the clerk and recorder in the county in which the existing district lies, the county commissioners of that county shall set a date for hearing protests and verifying petition signatures. The county commissioners shall provide notice of the hearing by publishing the hearing date and a list of the properties proposed to be annexed, at least three times in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, not less than 20 days prior to the hearing date.
(2) At the hearing held pursuant to subsection (1), the county commissioners shall examine the petition and have a map drawn up in order to determine the shape and regularity of the boundaries of the property proposed for annexation. If the county commissioners determine that the boundaries are reasonably regular and symmetrical in shape in relation to the geographical features of the properties proposed for annexation, the county commissioners may declare that those properties are annexed into the existing herd district.
(3) If the county commissioners declare the properties annexed to the existing herd district, they shall give notice of the annexation by four weekly publications in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. Annexation does not become effective until 30 days after the declaration of annexation is made, as provided in subsection (2).
Section 3. Codification instruction. [Section 2] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 81, chapter 4, part 3, and the provisions of Title 81, chapter 4, part 3, apply to [section 2].
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Latest Version of HB 373 (HB0373.ENR)
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