City Commission to consider resolutions asking state, county to study potential impacts of proposed Madison Food Park
During their March 3 meeting, City Commissioners will consider two items related to the proposed Madison Food Park.
The proposed food processing complex is located in the county and outside the city’s jurisdiction for any zoning, permitting or other regulatory actions.
Last fall, members of the city’s Neighborhood Councils began drafting resolutions asking the city to study the potential impacts of the proposed Madison Food Park on the city.
City staff determined that such a study would cost at least an estimated $100,000 and that study report could go completely unacknowledged by the county’s process in reviewing the project proposals.
In January, Commissioner Mary Moe suggested that the city consider asking the State of Montana to conduct a “comprehensive and coordinated impact study described in the policy guide for the Montana Environmental Protection Act.”
Moe will present the resolution to fellow commissioners Tuesday that if adopted would request “the Governor of Montana and the state agencies that he oversees to conduct the coordinated, comprehensive studies required by the Montana Environmental Protection Act to identify, analyze, and, if necessary, mitigate the direct, secondary, and cumulative impacts of the entire package of Madison Food Park proposals, should the core proposal involving a feedlot, meat packing plant, slaughterhouse and/or rendering plant advance to the state for permitting,” according to the agenda report.
Moe will also present a resolution asking that “Cascade County require a coordinated, comprehensive study to identify, analyze, and, if necessary, require mitigation of the direct, secondary, and cumulative impacts of the entire package of Madison Food Park proposals, should the core proposal involving a feedlot, meat packing plant, slaughterhouse, and/or rendering plant advance to the county for permitting,” according to her agenda report.
Her initial proposal was to only request a state-level study, but early feedback from neighborhood councils suggested asking the county to also conduct such a study.
The county zoning board of adjustment is the authority over the special use permits in the county and can place conditions on projects requiring approvals from state and federal agencies, as well as other conditions to mitigate concerns.
So far, the ZBOA has approved the SUP for Big Sky Cheese with a number of conditions, many of which were removed by the County Commission, and tabled its decision on Silver Falls Distillery to a future meeting that has not yet been scheduled.
Some have asked that the county consider the proposed Madison Food Park complex in its entirety, but county regulations require a separate SUP for each parcel for each land use. The Madison Food Park developers have opted to go through the SUP process in phases by applying for each component of the project individually.