From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 28 - October 6, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

County funds grant for towns

by Cat Urbigkit

Sublette County Commissioners agreed last week to pay an estimated $60,000 for community planning for the towns of Pinedale, Marbleton and Big Piney.

The tri-community planning grant, the first of its kind from the commission, will help the towns work individually and collectively in planning for growth.

According to the project proposal, the combination of the appeal of small town rural life and massive natural gas development is drawing people to Sublette County in unprecedented numbers.

The county is the fastest growing in the state, with a 12-percent increase from 2000 to 2004, and a projected increase in population of nearly 2,000 more people in the next decade. This growth has a correlating need for infrastructure growth of about $53 million.

The planning grant from the county will pay for a planning and engineering firm, Worthington, Lenhart and Carpenter, Inc. of Casper, to spend the next year in creating community development plans. Each community development plan will address land and infrastructure for projected growth within town limits, once existing land use, housing, current zoning, population and infrastructure are evaluated. Maps will be created to show future land uses, including new development, reidevelopment areas, a new roadway plan and development areas for residential, commercial and industrial growth. The mapsand plans will be subject to public review before final drafts are created.

The plans will address coordinated building usage and housing,including rehabilitating older and smaller housing to maintain and improve neighborhoods and housing.

Plans will also include reviews of zoning codes, including options for enforcement and upgrade of codes and ordinances.

The plans will also look at lands within one mile of town limits to examine potential growth opportunities for the town, recommended sities, infrastructure needs, annexation potential and other development issues.

Lastly, the plans will examine business development and will include goals to upgrade the image and appearance of each community, as well as marketing of the communities.

Representatives of the planning firm will soon begin meeting with town officials to begin the process. Joanne Garnett, former Sublette County planner, is a senior planner with the firm, so residents will see a familiar face as this planning process gets underway.

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