From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 26 - September 23, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Mancamp okayed

by Cat Urbigkit

The Alexander family's mancamp at the Mountain Village Trailer Park was approved by the Sublette County Commission on Thursday.

The commission approved the conditional-use permit for the mancamp for a term of five years or 500 people, whichever comes first. This was the recommendation of the county planning and zoning commission.

Although the Alexanders had originally applied for a permit for up to 1,000 workers, that amount wasn't granted. The mancamp is in the same location as the Exxon mancamp that operated from 1984 to 1986 with a capacity of 1,100 workers.

Dan Alexander attended the meeting Thursday and detailed the camp protocol for the commissioners, addressing everything from alcohol and noise restrictions to speed limits and firearm restrictions.

When asked by Commissioner Bill Cramer whether he had a problem with the restrictions recommended by the P&Z Commission, Alexander said, "I feel that the 500 will come real shortly, so we'll be back in," perhaps as soon as 30 days, to request an extension for increased capacity.

Sublette County Undersheriff Henry Schmidt talked about the importance of having a local impact committee to discuss and resolve any problems associated with having so many workers in one area. He suggested that even though the camp is an undertaking of private enterprise, the local group would be helpful, "if we can meet with some of the companies and make some suggestions.

"Without that, it could create some problems for the sheriff's office and the county," Schmidt said.

The commission did add the condition to the approved permit that the Alexanders will cooperate with a proposed task force regarding rules and regulations and implementation of any suggestions for further regulations.

Downstream neighbor Bill Barney spoke to the commission about his concern about the sewer system, which he said "has been problematic for 17 years." Barney said he believes the holding pond is leaking.

"I'm not trying to stop the project," Barney emphasized, but added "this needs to be engineered right."

Barney said the sewage system is "not just inadequate, it's non-functional."

One of the conditions of the permit from the county requires approval of the sewage system from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

Anticline Disposal's request for a conditional-use permit for increased capacity at its existing water-treatment facility off the Boulder South Road was approved. The commission's action to put the company's treatment facility under one 25-year conditional-use permit allows Anticline Disposal to treat the oil and gas production wastewater under any method approved by DEQ.

Anticline Disposal has four existing pits on the 15-acre site it leases from Wayne Jensen, with a capacity of about 3,000 barrels a day. The permit application would allow for a six-fold increase in production, using various processes and technologies.

Anticline Disposal representative Lee Shafer said the company needs to be able to handle 10,000 barrels a day by next year and 20,000 barrels a day by 2010.

Commissioner Gordon Johnston said, "This appears to me to be the best option we've got," since the wastewater will be produced and must be dealt with somehow.

In other P&Z business, lifelong Pinedale resident Charlotte Keyser was granted a variance to place a small house and garage on a parcel of property she is purchasing from John Huish. Although the P&Z Commission recommended the variance be denied, the commission found the arguments put forth by Huish to be convincing.

Huish explained that the variance was needed because current county zoning regulations require a one-acre minimum, although when Huish's father purchased the property in 1954, the half-acre lot was deemed to be a "buildable" property. When the county adopted a zoning ordinance in 1973, it instated the one-acre minimum standard.

"This ordinance makes my property virtually worthless," Huish said.

Fear agreed with the contention that the policy does render some lots virtually worthless.

Sublette County Planner Jocelyn Moore countered that some landowners have been required to purchase portions of adjacent properties in order to comply with the minimum-lot size requirement.

"The other solution, of course, is the one they are asking for, which is to request a variance," Cramer said.

"I don't have a problem with granting a variance in this matter," Cramer said, adding that this is specifically a situation where a variance should be granted. Cramer made the motion, granted by Fear, to grant the variance. The motion passed unanimously.

See The Archives for past articles.

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004 Sublette Examiner
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
Sublette Examiner, PO Box 1539, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3203