The Yellowstone Historic Preservation Board was created in February 1993 under an inter-local agreement with the City of Billings, City of Laurel, Yellowstone County and the Crow Tribal Council. This inter-local agreement is a provision for a joint board of the four parties to promote public interest and preservation of historic and prehistoric sites, structures, objects, buildings and districts by addressing preservation issues at the local level and integrating them into local, state and federal planning and decision-making processes. When the Yellowstone Historic Preservation Board was created, it replaced several separate board and commissions, making the Board the first of its kind in the state. Careful planning went into establishing this inter-local agreement, a joint resolution and separate ordinances which implement the Board’s duties, functions and responsibilities.
The Yellowstone Historic Preservation Board consists of nine members with demonstrated interest, competence, and knowledge of historic preservation. Five members are selected jointly by all signatories of the inter-local agreement. The Board has at least three members with professional expertise in the disciplines of history, planning, archaeology, architecture, architectural history or other historic-preservation related disciplines such as cultural geography or cultural anthropology. Two of the board members must be members of either the Yellowstone County Planning Board and the Laurel Board of Planning, a property owner owning a business in a historic district or a member of a city or county historical preservation society. All terms of the members are two-year terms. The Board meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 8:00 a.m. at the Parmly Billings Library in the 4th floor conference room, unless otherwise scheduled at an off-site location. A historic preservation officer is jointly appointed by all of the signatories of this inter-local agreement and serves as staff to the Historic Preservation Board. This officer shall also have a demonstrated interest, competence or knowledge in historic preservation.
The Board is specifically charged with the following duties and responsibilities:
- To review the development within the historic districts and any development affecting historical properties. Other duties are to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Certified Local Government (CLG) Program for historic preservation in a manner that also ensures the promotion of public health, safety, convenience, order and general welfare for the sake of efficiency and economy in the process of community development.
- To serve in an advisory capacity to the local governing bodies establishing said Board and to the Laurel Board of Planning, Yellowstone County Board of Planning, Yellowstone County Zoning Commission, Billings Zoning Commission, City and County Boards of Adjustment, Crow Tribal Council, and other related bodies.
- To advise the Cities, Tribal Council, and County in all matters pertaining to historic properties and historic districts within the jurisdictional area of the Board.
- To review all grants and to allocate the funds in accordance with the fiscal agent’s guidelines.
- To review the applications and applicants for the position of Historic Preservation Officer and to make a recommendation to the City Councils, County Commissioners, and the Tribal Council.
- To operate the Board and supervise the Historic Preservation Officer.
- To solicit input on a regular basis from other groups or organizations who have an interest in the Board and the services provided by the Board.
Any person interested in serving on the Yellowstone Historical Preservation Board can contact his/her respective city, County, or Crow Tribal Council member or Lora Mattox, the Historic Preservation Officer, at (406) 247-8622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.