Legal Limbo: Montana Miracle Stymied by Court’s Zoning Ruling

New opportunities and new zoning news await with the start of 2024. Rent Free includes developments in Portland, ME, and Charlottesville, VA, passing “missing middle” reforms. In Montana, a court decision blocks the legalization of duplexes and granny flats, claiming that they’d likely violate equal protection. Additionally, a Colorado court approves an ordinance cracking down on student housing. In Florida, the battle to overcome slow-growth laws continues. This jurisdiction trend report will keep you informed on urban issues and zoning news. Large majorities in the Montana legislature had backed duplex and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) laws but also attracted opposition from certain groups. Montanans Against Irresponsible Densification (MAID) sued the state over the new laws, arguing that they violated constitutional guarantees of equal protection. These legal decisions could have broader implications for future supply-side housing reforms. Additionally, Rent Free also covers recent “missing middle” reforms passed in Portland, Maine, and Charlottesville, Virginia, and a Colorado court’s approval of an ordinance cracking down on student housing.