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Missoula's City Council returns to its leadership elections this week while the community's Consolidated Planning Board wants new ideas on how to improve local growth policies.

The City Council has a full slate of regular business as well for its regular Monday meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 435 Ryman St. It starts with a public hearing on new fees for parks and recreation programs, facilities and concessionaires. It may also render a final decision on new laws covering bonded contractors, sidewalk construction, driveways, excavations and right-of-way occupancy permits.

The full council may also approve nominations of Mike Monsos and Cynthia Manning to the Historic Preservation Commission and J.W. Chamberlain to the Missoula Consolidated Planning Board. Ward 4 Councilman Jerry Ballas is also requesting reconsideration of the Briggs Court Subdivision denial of two weeks ago.

Also Monday, the City Council will consider a recommendation by the Public Works Committee to extend to April 26 an option to close the south end of Nora Street. The option is a key part of plan to bring a new Safeway store to West Broadway and the purchase of the old site by St. Patrick Hospital.

The Missoula County commissioners have a long session on Wednesday. They have two public hearings on petitions to extend Hayes Creek Road in the Blue Mountain area and to establish Rowan Street as a county road between Lolo and Florence. They will consider proposals to approve a five-lot subdivision at Holden Addition one mile west of Clinton; the H&M Addition of two lots on 2.38 acres at 2818 W. Central Ave.; and the Ondrak Addition of two lots on 10 acres off Windemere Road in Big Flat. The commissioners will also consider land transfer requests for the Jensen and Galbreath families. The meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. in Missoula County Courthouse Annex Room 201.

The Missoula Consolidated Planning Board meets Tuesday for a special public forum. The board seeks suggestions for how to bring growth policies in line with community values and interests. Tuesday's gathering will feature round-table discussions with a facilitator. Participants are encouraged to bring draft ordinances or other technical information. Topics include improvements to public participation in the planning process, ways to link land-use planning and infrastructure planning, resource protection issues, affordable housing and enforceability of planning policies and regulations.

Participants are asked to call 258-4981 or e-mail jshalow@co.missoula.mt.us so forum organizers can provide an adequate number of facilitators. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.

The Missoula County Board of Adjustment meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Courthouse Annex Room 201. It will hear a variance request from the MKR Industrial Mall on Kestrel Drive. The City Board of Adjustment meets at the same time in Missoula City Hall to hear a request from Marjory M. Redmond for a driveway slope variance.

Reporter Rob Chaney can be reached at 523-5382 or at rchaney@missoulian.com

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