A.   Authority: The zoning regulations, classifications, districts, and provisions as herein set forth are in accordance with chapter 2, title 76 of the Montana Code Annotated and Hardin's growth management plan.
   B.   General Purpose: They have been deemed necessary and developed with consideration among other things to the character of each zoning district and its peculiar suitability for particular uses, to conserve the value of buildings, to stabilize property values, to preserve recreation and agricultural lands from conflict with urban development, to promote the interest of health, safety, and general welfare, to secure safety from fire, and to provide adequate open space for light and air, and to facilitate the economic provision of adequate transportation, water, sewer, schools, parks, and other public requirements.
   C.   Purposes Enumerated: The Hardin common council further declares this zoning is adopted for the following specific purposes and policies:
      1.   To promote and guide development consistent with the goals and objectives of the adopted growth management plan;
      2.   To prevent waste and inefficiency in land use;
      3.   To encourage innovations in residential development and renewal that provides variety in type and design of dwellings and conservation of open space; to preserve and enhance housing values and maintain residential neighborhood aesthetics;
      4.   To encourage development near existing services, in or adjacent to the city, and on less productive agricultural land and in consideration of the existing floodplain in Hardin and those areas of wet soils or surface water;
      5.   To encourage cluster development, affordable housing, landscaping, and energy conservation;
      6.   Prevent nonconforming mobile home parks from increasing the number of dwelling units until the parks are brought up to compliance with this code;
      7.   To encourage multi-family and duplex housing as the market demands and in conjunction with single-family housing in the southwest planning area as defined in the GMP;
      8.   To provide adequate land and space for commercial and industrial uses and to encourage such development in locations calculated to benefit the community at large and in a manner consistent with the goals and objectives of the city's growth management planning process;
      9.   To discourage strip commercial growth and residential development in undesirable locations such as on prime farmland, potential prime farmland, and farmland of statewide, local, and unique importance (as described by the USDA's natural resources and conservation service) as well as in wildlife habitat areas, and on floodplains and wetlands;
      10.   To limit commercial development along the major transportation corridors to areas currently zoned C2 highway commercial and maintain the lots in I-90 park subdivision as commercial sites;
      11.   Limit residential lots in the agricultural open space district to a minimum of five (5) acres in size; and
      12.   Limit the extension of the industrial areas along the railroad north into the existing residential districts.
   D.   Scope:
      1.   This title applies to all lands in the incorporated limits of the city and that additional jurisdictional area authorized by state statute and the county commissioners.
      2.   In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this title may be regarded as the minimum requirements for the protection of the public health, safety, comfort, prosperity, and welfare. (Ord. 2003-03, 4-15-2003)