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(1) The department will change the classification of land from class three, as defined in 15-6-133, MCA, or class ten, as defined in 15-6-143, MCA, to class four, as defined in 15-6-134, MCA, when the following land use change criteria are met:

(a) restrictive covenants, easements, deed restrictions, servitudes, conservation easements, or other legal encumbrances that exist and are enforced to prohibit forest or agricultural use of the land;

(b) the land no longer meets the definition of forest land in 15-44-102, MCA, the forest land classification requirements in ARM 42.20.705, and subsequently does not meet the agricultural land classification requirements of 15-7-202, MCA;

(c) the land contains three or more of the following physical site improvements:

(i) a city or community sewer system;

(ii) a city or community water system;

(iii) street curbs and gutters;

(iv) a paved or all-weather gravel road that meets county standards;

(v) a storm sewer system;

(vi) underground or aboveground utilities that may include gas, electricity, telephone, or cable television;

(vii) streetlights;

(viii) a fire hydrant; or

(ix) landscaping developed for the aesthetic benefit or security of all the landowners;

(d) the land contains a commercial or industrial structure or is used in direct support of commercial or industrial activities.

(i) Examples of a commercial or industrial structure include, but are not limited to:

(A) an apartment building;

(B) an office building;

(C) a mobile home park;

(D) a warehouse;

(E) a lumber mill;

(F) a sugar beet processing plant;

(G) a refinery;

(H) a power generation facility;

(I) a greenhouse where the product is sold to the public;

(J) a storage tank; and

(K) a cellular communication tower.

(ii) Examples of land being used for commercial or industrial activity include, but are not limited to:

(A) a parking lot;

(B) a lumber company log yard;

(C) land used as a buffer for an industrial facility from adjoining land uses;

(D) land used to store sugar beets, potatoes, or other cash crops until those crops can be transported to a manufacturing facility; and

(E) land that is used to store horticultural crops for sale where the roots of the crop are placed in a container or other material and that container is either placed in the ground or on a platform.

(2) When the criteria in (1) are met, the department will value land at 100% of market value under class four, as provided in 15-8-111, MCA.

(3) Examples of land use criteria change not considered for a change in land classification include utility lines that cross a property or easement access roads provided for the benefit of a third party and not for access or the benefit of the property owner. 


History: 15-1-201, 15-7-111, 15-44-105, MCA; IMP, 15-1-101, 15-6-133, 15-7-103, 15-7-111, 15-7-202, 15-7-206, 15-7-207, 15-7-210, 15-44-102, 15-44-103, MCA; NEW, 2002 MAR p. 3062, Eff. 11/1/02; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 2994, Eff. 12/12/14; AMD, 2015 MAR p. 2350, Eff. 1/1/16; AMD, 2020 MAR p. 1881, Eff. 10/24/20.

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