Butte considers ordinance amid outcry over halfway houses

Posted at 4:50 PM, Sep 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-21 18:50:33-04

BUTTE - Some Butte commissioners want a new ordinance in place after some neighbors on the city’s west-side were recently blindsided by a proposed halfway home for recovering addicts planning to locate there.

“This recent case, people were caught off guard a little bit and surprised and there was some outcry on how this could happen,” said Butte Commissioner Brendan McDonough.

Plans for the halfway home were canceled after outcry from several residents in that neighborhood. However, similar recovery homes have popped up virtually unnoticed in other Butte neighborhoods and some commissioners want more transparency in the future.

“There’s no requirement locally to require them to go in front of the zoning board, the planning department. Once they license through the state they’re able to open as long as they meet the requirements,” said McDonough.

Now a local ordinance wouldn’t prohibit a halfway house from moving here to Butte, but it would give residents advance notice and a chance at a public hearing.

“So that people are made aware of it, Butte-Silver Bow is made aware of it, the community is made aware of it, the neighborhood that may be effected would be aware of it, so that everybody has the this information before the facility is just opened,” said McDonough.

Commissioner Eric Mankins is expected to present a new ordinance within two weeks before the council. It could take months for a new ordinance to be approved.