This month, Missoula County farmers and ranchers dodged a major bullet when the County decided to keep their Building Department’s permit exemption for ag structures.

Photo by Jacqueline Corday

Photo by Jacqueline Corday

The current exemption allows farmers and ranchers to be exempted from the building permit process – which requires building plans, inspections, and permitting fees – when building simple agricultural structures.  Think of greenhouses, hay barns, or lambing sheds.

Unfortunately, the exemption has been abused by people looking to build barns built for RVs instead of horses and sheds built for storage instead of tools.  And one building, near Seeley Lake, collapsed.  Seeking to address these abuses and the problems that go along with avoiding permitting, the County developed new language to do away with the ag exemption.

Luckily, we at CFAC were alerted to these changes and quickly rallied folks from around the county to contact their Commissioners to ask them to keep the ag exemption.  The Open Lands Committee quickly had a presentation from the Building Department added to their scheduled meeting for last week and as of this week, the ag exemption is off the table!

Way to go Missoulians!  Now if we could just get those RVs out of barns…..