Community outreach has been pivotal in assessing the concerns of Big Sky residents.  Photo courtesy Mitch Hendrick

Goals in light of growth

Community visioning strategy to generate a plan for the next 10-20 years
Everyone who has a stake in Big Sky’s future should visit the website Hendrick said.

Project manager Mitch Hendrick with specialized environmental planning firm Logan Simpson recently outlined the community vision strategy the company is completing in Big Sky.

“We are trying to create more strategy as to where Big Sky is going. We want to create an overall long-term vision,” he said, also noting that the company is hoping for community volunteers to form a steering committee to continue to reach -out and get community feedback. The goal is to create a 10 to 20-year vision for Big Sky. 

“Big Sky, an unincorporated resort community founded in the early 1970’s, has evolved a number of entities and governmental units focused on various aspects of the community, but as yet, none of these has over-arching authority for the community’s future. At its current level of roughly half built out, the community is approaching limits of key underlying infrastructure elements (water, sewer, affordable housing, electrical power, roads, etc.), and as such is facing the need for strategic investments. The need for a strategic vision as a means of prioritizing these investments is critical, particularly for BSRAD [Big Sky Resort Area District], a key funding source,” the ourbigskymt.com website explains.

Big Sky Resort Tax District has funded the venture and an advisory committee comprised of key community players was formed. Representatives from governmental and non-governmental entities as well as developers are contributing insight but are not shaping the outcome.

The effort is to glean what community members of Big Sky find important.

 

“Everyone who has a stake in Big Sky’s future should visit the website,” Hendrick said.

 

Phase 1 of the strategy began in February, when a couple hundred people were interviewed by Logan Simpsonthe company about what they loved, what could be improved and what they want to see in the future in Big Sky.

 

Phase 2 is currently underway and has included feedback from 90 people as a result of in-person polling at the Big Sky Farmer’s Market and at softball games.

 

“We asked people to look at 12 components of the community ranging from arts and entertainment, to tourism, local government, housing, conservation, social services, sustainable growth, water and sewer and others,” Hendrick said.

 

Of those 90 people reached, so far the top four demands for community resources are housing, sustainable/balanced growth, conservation ad preservation and water and sewer, he said.

 

The community is encouraged to visit the website www.ourbigskymt.com.

 

 

The company will be back for more events in September with project completion anticipated by late November.

 

“That’s kind of the general antenna of the community visioning process. What all do we need to do around here to see the community grow responsibly?” BSRAD Resort Tax board vice chair Steve Johnson asked. “We are trying to get everyone to appreciate the scale of what we need to do.”

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