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 Flathead County GIS
Address Improvement Program
   800 South Main Street
Kalispell, Montana 59901

Address Improvement Program

What is the Address Improvement Program?

The Address Improvement Program, including the assignment of road names and addresses in unincorporated Flathead County, is administered by the Flathead County GIS Department to enhance the easy and rapid location of structures by law enforcement, fire protection services, search and rescue, and emergency medical services to protect public health and safety of all persons living, working or visiting in Flathead County.  This program is driven by Flathead County Resolution Number 1626D, which was adopted by the Flathead County Commissioners.


Address Assignments

Address RequestFlathead County requires a completed Address Request Form, including a map of the property and its driveway access, for all address assignment requests in unincorporated Flathead County.  Upon receipt of a completed Address Request Form, the information provided will be reviewed by GIS staff and the applicant will be notified of the new address assignment in writing.  Addresses are assigned using an equal interval system, with even and odd addresses assigned to opposing sides of the road, and are not subject to the property owner’s approval.  The address assignment is based solely upon the location provided by the Resident/Owner at the time of the application, but in some cases, GIS staff may also make an on-site visit to the property to accurately record the location and description of the structure for Enhanced 911 records.  If the structure and/or driveway access is found to be significantly different than where reported on the application, the Flathead County GIS Department may issue a new address number for the structure.

It is required that the building number assigned to your home or business be displayed prominently with at least four-inch high numbers on a contrasting 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.  Address numbers should be posted within 30 days of assignment or notification of the official address.


Road Naming

Following the guidelines in Flathead County Resolution Number 1626D, any road that serves three or more properties, or is ¼ mile or longer in length, should be named, regardless of whether ownership of the road is public or private.  Landowners who wish to be proactive in this effort can initiate a road naming project by submitting an owner-initiated petition.  In other cases, Flathead County will initiate the road naming process using a balloted procedure.  Road name assignments in Flathead County are for locational purposes only and do not constitute jurisdiction, ownership, right of use, guarantee of access, or acceptance into the County Road Maintenance Program.

For county-initiated road naming projects, problem areas are identified and prioritized using 911 dispatch records, telephone records, customer requests for new addresses, and mapping software.  An informational letter and ballot are then mailed to all property owners whose property is accessed by or located within 50 feet of the road to be named, providing them an opportunity to vote for the road name of their choice.  Upon adoption of the chosen road name, any addresses accessed directly from the newly named road will also be changed following the guidelines in Flathead County Resolution Number 1626D.

The Flathead County GIS Department works very hard to prevent problems with addressing before they arise—but as the county continues to grow and more development occurs, there will inevitably be situations that require the naming of roads and readdressing of structures to comply with Flathead County, State of Montana, and Enhanced 911 National Emergency Numbering Association (NENA) guidelines.  These changes are not always desirable, but it is ultimately our goal to implement them in a way that improves public safety and makes the transition as easy as possible for all persons living, working or visiting in Flathead County.

Addressing FAQs                     Road Naming Procedures              Flathead County Resolution Number 1626D