From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 27 - October 3, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Revising the master plan

by Cat Urbigkit

About a dozen Sublette County citizens gathered last Wednesday evening to discuss how the county should proceed on revising the county comprehensive plan.

Although the meeting, hosted by the Sublette County Planning and Zoning Commission, was to include an informal discussion with the Sublette County Commissioners, none of the three commissioners attended. County planner Joanne Garnett explained that one commissioner was out of the country, while the other two were unable to attend due to medical reasons.

Garnett introduced representatives of Bear West, a Salt Lake City consulting firm that has been hired to assist the revision effort.

Rulon Dutson of Bear West said he had reviewed the 1978 county comprehensive plan.

"This document is a great plan," Dutson said, and questioned why the plan was being revised.

P&Z Commissioner Peggy Bell said the plan is used consistently to make decisions at P&Z Commission meetings.

P&Z Commissioner Suzy Michnevich said, "I use it in a very general sense ... and it's very general." Michnevich said she sometimes feels like the wording in the plan is dated.

P&Z Commissioner Albert Sommers said that the goals of the 1978 plan are very general, "And that's a good thing," the plan is so general, "you can pick and choose what you want to see in that plan ... you have that escape route or it wouldn't have survived for 20 years."

Sommers said the comprehensive plan "should reflect the goals of the community at that time for what they envision for the near future."

Michnevich agreed, adding that the plan should include "the feeling of the community and what the community wants to be," and "what is important to the community to maintain."

Dutson noted that while community leaders may come and go, the county comprehensive plan can be the "common thread" providing the connection over time. He explained that Bear West's job is to take each of the individual task group reports and compile those documents into one plan that "clearly articulates the county's position

"The format of the document should lend itself to being easy to use," Dutson said. He proposed to change the format of the plan to place the county's policies and goals in the front of the document to "help the readability and make those tools easier to find."

"The goal is that the plan makes the business of government easier," Dutson said. He will also examine the new document in its draft format and compare it to the 1978 plan to draw attention to changes, inconsistencies and areas entirely lacking.

The informal group also discussed what role the public will have as the revision process continues. There will be two public hearings before the plan is approved, in addition to any other public comment opportunities.

Bear West will reorganize and format the draft plan and provide that to the P&Z revision steering committee members prior to the next meeting, which is slated for Nov. 4. Each task group chairman is to take the lead in keeping their members updated on the revision process.

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