Community Development
Growing Your Own Food in Bozeman

Living within Bozeman provides many conveniences and since we are living in close proximity to one another, this convenience comes with some neighborly responsibilities. Before you plant, here are some things you should know!

There are several opportunities for you to grow food in Bozeman within your property and within the community including:

Planting vegetable gardens, raised beds and fruit trees in your yard

Utilizing community gardens

Building greenhouses or chicken coops



Before you start planning and planting, be sure you understand these regulations and guidelines and call 811 for location of utilities before you dig.

Landscaping Regulations. City landscaping regulations apply to gardens too. Some things to note:

The City’s landscaping ordinance requires that 75% of the yard area (the area between the building and the property line) must be landscaped with natural grass, vegetative ground cover or other natural living plant material.

The remaining 25% of the yard may be covered in nonvegetative material (patio, bark chips, pavers, fountains, etc).

Any landscaped or garden area must be kept free of noxious weeds.

Protective garden fencing must adhere to city fencing regulations, which regulate location and height (please see the “Guidelines for Fences” fact sheet).

Front Yard Gardens. There are no rules prohibiting front yard gardens, but open soil areas must be maintained with vegetative material and kept weed free. Planting perennial fruits, vegetables or annuals that re-establish quickly are encouraged.

Fruit Trees. The City Forestry Division does not allow fruit trees in the boulevard due to maintenance issues. You are permitted to plant fruit trees on your private property, but keep in mind that planting fruit trees close to neighboring properties may create maintenance issues for you and your neighbor. Never plant trees over your water and sewer service lines.

Easements. Its good to know the location of easements on your property.

An easement allows someone else access to, or use of, part of your property.

Easements are created for several purposes such as providing areas for utilities and stormwater drainage.

Never plant trees or locate raised planting beds, fence or other structures within an easement.

Utility companies and the City of Bozeman Water and Sewer Department have the right to remove structures and vegetation from easements in emergencies, with no compensation provided for its repair or replacement.



Chicken Coops. The City of Bozeman has an established Urban Chicken Program. There are limitations on location and quantity of chickens per property. Please reference for more information on the Urban Chicken Ordinance 1767.

Greenhouses. Greenhouses are considered an accessory structure and therefore size, placement and setback restrictions apply. Please reference 38.21 of the Unified Development Code (located at A building permit and a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) may be required depending on location and size of the structure.


City of Bozeman Department of Community Development

20 East Olive Street – P.o. Box 1230

Bozeman, MT 59771-1230

Phone: 406-582-2260 / TDD: 406-582-2301 Fax: 406-582-2263

For questions specific to Community Gardens, please contact:

Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department

(Community Gardens)

406-582-3200 •

Bozeman Building Division (Building Permits)

406-582-3200 •

Montana State University Extension

(yard and garden information)

406-994-1750 •

City of Bozeman Department of Community Development

20 East Olive, Bozeman, MT 59715  406-582-2260                 Growing Your Own Food in Bozeman 1

Updated 11/15