Flathead County GIS
Address Improvement Program
800 South Main Street
Kalispell, Montana 59901
What is the Address Improvement Program?
As Flathead County grows, the existing system of addressing is no longer adequate to locate properties. This situation can delay police and fire response to emergencies at your home or business. It also affects visitors, package delivery drivers, or utility workers trying to respond to an outage or repair request.
The primary problems are unnamed roads, duplicate road
names, branches of the same road name, and similar sounding road names. It is estimated that of the over 5,500 known roads, there are approximately 2,000 unnamed roads that will require naming. This is expected to change the addresses for approximately 4,500 properties of the 55,000 addressed properties within the county.
On May 1st, 2012, the County Commissioners adopted Resolution Number 1626C that identified the circumstances under which roads need to be named or renamed and properties may need to be readdressed. The definition of a “road” that needs to be named for purposes of the resolution is “any highway, road, street, avenue, lane, private way, or similar paved, gravel, or dirt thoroughfare that serves three or more properties, or is ¼ mile or longer in length, regardless of whether the ownership is public or private.”
The Address Improvement Program is being implemented over several years. Problem areas are identified and prioritized from 911 dispatch records, telephone records, customer requests for new addresses, and mapping software. Those property owners that are affected by readdressing are given an opportunity to proactively name their access road by petition, following County guidelines. In the event a majority petition is not received within one month from notification, the County will name or rename the road.
If you are planning to build a new home on vacant land or subdivide a property, it is important that you understand the road naming requirements and proactively begin a “voluntary” road naming in advance. Because the road name adoption process takes about two months to complete and the County does not issue temporary addresses, preliminary construction for utilities or even material deliveries may be delayed because an address cannot be assigned if the road needs to be named.
All roads must have a road name sign. This is true for both public and private roads. Installation and maintenance of signs on public roads will continue to be paid for by Flathead County. The County will also install the initial new signs on private roads that are not associated with new development and are named or renamed after July 2006. For private roads that were named prior to July 2006, it is the responsibility of the residents living along the road to install and maintain the signs for their road.
It is required that the building number assigned to your home or business be displayed prominently with a minimum four-inch high numbers with a high contrast background. If the front door area is not visible or is further than fifty feet from the road then you are also required to display your address at your driveway entrance to assist emergency services and others in locating you.