Planning & Development

Building Guidelines and Permitting

Butte-Silver Bow building guidelines help to assure the safety of the public through the proper use of property within the City and County. 

Commercial building projects in Butte-Silver Bow generally must follow the International Building Code (2015 Edition), or IBC. Note that other local and state laws amend some parts of the IBC and/or require that additional codes are also followed. Also note that, while a newer 2012 edition of the IBC is available, Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code currently mandates the use of the IBC, 2009 edition. Details on all codes adopted by Butte-Silver Bow can be found in Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code, Title 15

For more information on building guidelines and requirements, contact the Building and Code Enforcement Office at 406-497-6212, email, or visit the office on the first floor of the Butte Courthouse, Room 108, 155 W Granite St.
Zoning Guidelines

City-County zoning rules govern the use and development of land in Butte and Silver-Bow County. Zoning districts specify a category of uses and are applied by ordinance. Zoning district boundaries are shown geographically on the land use map below, and you can also download a larger version of the Zoning Classifications Map in pdf format, as well as a complete list of Zoning District Descriptions.

Details on all zoning requirements are described in 
Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code, Title 17The Zoning Board of Adjustment governs variances and special use permits.

Map: Zoning Classification in Urban Butte

For more information about zoning in Butte, contact the Planning Department.
Subdivision Development

Subdivision developers should download and review The Subdivision Regulations of the Consolidated City-County of Butte-Silver Bow, State of Montana (2009, 204 pgs, pdf). The Subdivision Regulations include sample forms and certificates that may be required for subdivision approval. 

All subdivision developers should also download and complete the Preliminary Subdivision Plat Application. The completed application should then be taken to the Planning Department at the Butte Courthouse. This and other forms related to subdivision approval can be downloaded using the links below.

The fees related to subdivision approval vary depending on the details of a project. For specific fee information, refer to the Schedule of Fees for subdivision approval, available below as a pdf download.

For more information or assistance, refer to the Subdivision page or contact the Planning Department.
Excavation and Dirt Moving

Butte-Silver Bow’s Excavation and Dirt-Moving Protocols (2013, 27 pgs, pdf) are applicable to all residential, commercial, industrial and recreation projects located in the Excavation Control District (see map below). All applicants excavating or moving dirt must comply with these protocols in order for Butte-Silver Bow and the applicant to properly identify and handle mine wastes in the Excavation Control District. The protocols are in place to protect human health and the environment from potential exposure to mine waste.

Butte Excavation Control District Map
You can also download a larger version of the Excavation Control District Map (pdf format).

For details on Excavation Permit requirements and regulations, refer to Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code Title 8, Chapter 28.

At new site developments, Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Code Title 13, Chapter 32 also requires stormwater management and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public through regulation of stormwater discharges.

More specifically, no landowner or responsible party shall engage in any land disturbance activity without having provided for appropriate stormwater management measures in compliance with Municipal Code Title 13, Chapter 32, Article II, unless exempted in the same Code section.

This is a new program for Butte-Silver Bow, and more information will be provided as the program is further developed.

For more information on Butte-Silver Bow stormwater management and requirements for developers, contact the Planning Department.

Butte-Silver Bow Growth Policy

The Butte-Silver Bow Growth Policy, last updated in 2008, provides a set of goals, objectives and implementation strategies that address land uses and growth trends in Silver Bow County. It contains a wealth of information on community demographics and socioeconomics, and may be useful to interested developers. Download the complete policy document using the link below. 

Urban Revitalization District

Butte's current Urban Revitalization Agency District, or URA, offers financial support and other resources to development within the district (refer to the map below). The URA is a Tax Increment Financing (or TIF) District designed to promote the redevelopment and stimulation of investment within the Central Business District (Uptown Butte) through loans and grants for private buildings in the Uptown area, and investments in other public and private improvements.

Map: Butte Uptown Urban Renewal District Boundary (prior to 2014, jpg, sm)
The boundary of the Butte Uptown Urban Renewal District, prior to 2014. Download a larger version of the map using the link below.

The current URA sunsets in 2014. A new district is being developed by the Community Development Office in coordination with local stakeholders. The new district also focuses on the Central Business District (Uptown Butte), with adjusted borders.

Map: Butte Uptown Urban Renewal District Boundary 2014 (jpg, sm)
The boundary of the new Butte Uptown Urban Renewal District initiated in 2014. Download a larger version of the map (pdf format) using the link below. The following documents provide additional information on ongoing development of the new URA district.
For more information, contact the Community Development Office located in the Butte Courthouse, 1st floor, Room 111, (406) 497-6266, or email Director Karen Byrnes at

Historic Preservation

As home to one of the largest National Historic Districts in the U.S., Butte has a vested interest, culturally and economically, in historic preservation.

Map: Historic Designations of Uptown Butte (jpg, sm)

Various tax incentives and local, state and federal programs are available to support historic preservation efforts. Contact the Butte-Silver Bow Historic Preservation Office to learn more.

Road Construction Standards

The Public Works Roads & Bridges Division has compiled details on road standards in Butte-Silver Bow in the Road Division Standard Drawings (pdf, 9MB) document. Road standard drawings are also available by category on the Roads & Bridges Division page.

Projects involving in-street excavations also require a permit from the Public Works Department Roads & Bridges Division. The division has compiled information about Butte-Silver Bow Municipal Codes & Construction Requirements for In-Street Excavation. Contact the division for more info, or to begin the permitting process.