Volume 6, Number 50 - March 8, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Recommendation made to deny zoning change
What began as an informational-only meeting resulted in the Town of Pinedale Planning and Zoning board recommending denying approval of zoning changes on the Old Brazzill Ranch Phases V and VII.
With affordable housing a hot topic in the area, a number of Pinedale residents were on hand at the March 5 Town of Pinedale Planning and Zoning public hearing to discuss a zoning change application submitted by Richardson Development, Inc.
Phases V and VII of the Old Brazzill Ranch, located less than a mile south of town, call for rezoning of 148.98 acres from agricultural (A-1) to rural residential (R-R), 6,000 square foot lot size minimum and 8.79 acres from A-1 to commercial.
Public and board concerns about making the zoning change included limited access points, the lack of curbs and sidewalks, no drainage plan, loss of wildlife, fragmentation and unanswered questions.
Before discussion began, town attorney Ed Wood informed the board and meeting attendees that there are no state requirements or regulations stating the town board must make a recommendation to the county.
“This is not a formal meeting,” Wood said. “Decisions are made at the county level, therefore this is an informational-only meeting. The comments here tonight will have no impact. They need to be made at the Planning and Zoning meeting at the county level.”
Rio Verde engineer Mark Eatinger, hired by landowner and developer Cecilia Richardson, began the meeting by giving an explanation of the plans for Phases V and VII of the Old Brazzill Ranch project.
According to Eatinger, the project began in December and since that time the developer has received approval from the town to supply sewer and water to the development if standards are met, has put in an application to the county for rezoning and has completed a lot-layout plan.
Eatinger addressed questions from the board, including those concerning water and sewer.
“The town council has approved the water and sewer,” Eatinger said.
According to Eatinger, the sewer does not have to be looped and there will be a lift station for the sewer.
The next question directed toward Eatinger addressed the buildings.
“There will be multifamily lots (12.4 acres),” he said. “There will be approximately 270 1-3 bedroom townhouses.”
With the number of houses on site, traffic will be an issue and access-point concerns were brought forward.
According to Eatinger, plans call for two access points on Highway 191 south of town. Currently, one existing access point has been approved and the developer is working with the Wyoming Department of Transportation to have a second access point approved.
Pinedale resident Paul Davidson questioned limited access points with the amount of traffic that will be circulating in the area.
“Maybe if we plan this just right, we’ll make national news by having the first traffic light in Pinedale not be in Pinedale,” he said.
Water rights were also addressed and Eatinger informed the board that there were no water right problems.
Town Planning and Zoning Chairman Robert Brito informed everyone in attendance that the board had received letters from the residents at Old Brazzill Ranch voicing their concerns with the zoning change. Brito then opened the meeting to public comment.
Davidson asked the board and town attorney what the town’s liability would be if water and sewer lines fail.
“The town will have no liability,” Wood said. “The town would only provide water to the boundary of the town limits.”
According to Wood, the developer would pay for everything outside the town limits.
Old Brazzill residents brought forth concerns with density and property value.
“We were led to believe the largest lots would be two acres,” one resident said.
“We’re very concerned,” another resident said. “We have built expensive houses here and our covenants states there are to be no modular homes or such close density.”
Another question dealt with an environmental impact statement, however, Eatinger informed the public that no statement was required.
“This project could be affecting the town in a disadvantageous way,” board member Paul Rock said. “A lot of good people showed up here tonight voicing their concerns. I just don’t feel like I’ve had all my questions answered.”
“True, but we can’t have both,” Brito said. “People are also looking for housing.”
Board member Pam Curry expressed her feelings toward contradicting the covenants of the Old Brazzill Ranch while Brito voiced his concerns with no drainage plan and the lack of sidewalks and curbs.
Eatinger informed the board that no drainage plan was required and said the current covenants of Old Brazzill did not apply.
After brief discussion, Brito decided to move forward.
“This started out as an informational only meeting,” he said, “however, Planning and Zoning has now decided to make a decision on making a recommendation to the county.”
A motion was made to recommend not approving zoning changes on the Old Brazzill Ranch phases V and VII.
In a four to one vote the motion was passed to recommend denial of approving the zoning changes with board member Barbara Boyce providing the only vote against the motion.
The issue will now be brought before the County Planning and Zoning board on March 14 at 7 p.m., where action will be taken on the application submitted by Richardson Development Inc., to rezone.
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