Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 2. All-Beverages Licenses

Resort Area Determination

16-4-212. Resort area determination. (1) To obtain a resort area designation, the resort area developer or landowner must submit an application with a plat setting forth the resort area boundaries and designating the ownership of the lands within the resort area. The plat must show the location and general design of the buildings and other improvements existing or to be built in the resort area. A master plan for the development of the resort area may be filed by the resort area developer in satisfaction of this section.

(2) (a) In addition to the other requirements of this code, at the time of application, a resort area:

(i) may not be located within the boundaries of an incorporated city or town quota area as described in 16-4-201(1) or (2), except that if the resort area is located in a county having a consolidated city-county unit of local government, the resort area must be more than 5 miles from the historical corporate limits of the city or town that existed immediately before the abandonment or consolidation into the consolidated city-county unit of local government;

(ii) must have a current actual valuation of resort or recreational facilities, including land and improvements, of not less than $10 million, at least $5 million of which valuation must be for a structure or structures within the resort area;

(iii) must be under the sole ownership or control of one person or entity;

(iv) must contain a minimum of 125 acres of land; and

(v) must provide details of the recreational facilities that are or will be on the grounds of the resort that warrant the resort designation being granted. These recreational facilities must be completed prior to licenses being issued in 16-4-213.

(b) A resort area's current actual valuation under subsection (2)(a)(ii) may be determined by using an independent appraisal or the department's tax appraisals of the property.

(c) For the purposes of this subsection (2), "control" means land or improvements that are owned or that are held under contract, lease, option, or permit.

(3) Within 15 business days after the application is filed, the department shall schedule a public hearing to be held in the proposed area to determine whether the facility proposed by the resort area developer or landowner is a resort area. At least 30 days prior to the date of the hearing, the department shall publish notice of the hearing in a newspaper published in the county or counties in which the resort area is located, once a week for 4 consecutive weeks. The notice must include a description of the proposed resort area. The resort area developer or landowner shall, at the time of filing an application, pay to the department an amount sufficient to cover the costs of publication.

(4) A person may present, in person or in writing, a statement to the department at the hearing in opposition to or in support of the application.

(5) Within 30 days after the hearing, the department shall approve or deny the application. If the application is denied, the applicant may request a review of the decision of the department pursuant to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act.

(6) Once a resort area has been approved by the department, the boundaries of a resort area may not be changed without a new application.

(7) (a) Except as provided in subsection (7)(b), an approved resort area designation lapses if no resort all-beverages licenses are issued pursuant to 16-4-213 within 5 years of the department's approval of the resort area or if the resort area applicant cannot demonstrate substantial progress toward completion of the improvements and outdoor recreational facilities described in the application.

(b) A resort area designation that received department approval prior to January 1, 2024, lapses if no resort all-beverages licenses are issued pursuant to 16-4-213 by January 1, 2029.

(c) A developer or landowner of a lapsed resort area may reapply to the department to obtain a new resort area designation.

History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 336, L. 2019; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 645, L. 2023.