From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 11 - June 7, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Commissioners deal with possible land - lock issue

by Trey Wilkinson

On Tuesday Sublette County Commissioners reviewed a petition for the establishment of a private road located near Pinedale East County Road and James Lane and granted temporary access to the road after listening to complaints from a couple living on that property.

Randy Reed, owner of property near the location, filed the petition and asked the commissioners to grant temporary access to his property, as he is concerned that his property is landlocked by property owned by Sid and Pat Pfister.

After dealing with a number of problems, which the Pfisters believe are a result of tenants on the Reed property, the Pfisters chose to put up a gate and threatened to lock it keeping anyone from entering the Reed property, which is only accessible through the Pfister’s property.

City attorney Ed Wood informed the commissioners that the purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was to first review the petition to see if it complies with state statues, and second, look at granting temporary access to the road.

Reed was not present at the commissioners meeting; however, Sid and Pat Pfister were, along with their lawyer, Leonard Carlman with Hess, Carlman & D’Amours, LLC, out of Jackson.

Carlman introduced himself to the commissioners along with concerns that he and his clients had with the petition.

“We ask that you deny this petition up front,” Carlman said. “The application is not complete.”

Carlman said that according to state statutes the petition didn’t follow Statute 24-9-101 a3 in which an offer of purchase must be made.

“Both parties have had discussions; however nothing had been resolved,” he said. “This is nothing more than Mr. Wood’s declaration that there have been discussions.”

Carlman said he and his clients wouldn’t be having these discussions if behaviors of the tenants occupying housing on the Reed property hadn’t “changed so radically.”

“It’s juvenile, upsetting and offensive behavior,” Carlman told commissioners. “The Reeds haven’t disciplined or evicted the tenants.”

Pat Pfister explained to the commissioners what happened to cause him to close and lock the gates on his property, which leads to the Reed property.

“What really brought this to a head was when I came home on the evening of May 18 and found one of my horses locked in with no feed or water. I want to keep these people out of our property.”

Pat had compiled a list beginning Jan. 9 and running through May 28 of problems he had encountered on his property that he believes the tenants on the Reed property were responsible for.

Pat’s list included being cussed for putting gates up; speeding through their yard; leaving gates open resulting in livestock getting into the hay and trashing the yard; finding cigarette butts, beer cans and trash in their yard; dealing with loud music and honking horns.

Pat said he didn’t feel he should have to worry that his livestock isn’t being taken care of.

“Consequently, this is why I shut the gates,” he said. “Not to keep Mr. and Mrs. Reed out – but their tenants.”

County Commissioner Chairman Bill Cramer questioned why the Sheriff’s Department had not yet been involved.

“I don’t understand why the Sheriff’s Department wouldn’t deal with this,” he said. “What you’ve explained to me is criminal action.”

Sid informed Cramer that the Sheriff’s Department told her that there was nothing that could be done because it was private property.

After speaking with County Attorney Ralph Boynton, Boynton informed the commissioners that the petition was in order and complied with state statutes.

“I respectfully disagree,” Carlman said. “The petition is defective.”

The commissioners moved forward, accepting the petition and granting temporary access to the road. A public hearing is set for Sept. 4 at 10 a.m. to decide whether or not the property is landlocked.

“If the Pfisters’ attorney wants to propose conditions for the temporary access the commissioners will consider them,” Cramer said.

In other county action:

• The commissioners discussed the placement of a new industrial-site road.

The purpose of the road is to gain access to the south side of the proposed golf course as well as a number of well sites.

Discussion took place as to whether the original placement plans for the road were the best solution.

The original plans called for the road to go through Redstone New Fork River Subdivision.

“Since it goes through the subdivision its use might be limited,” Wood said.

“If it’s moved over there will be less dust and traffic noise for those residents,” County Commissioner John Linn said.

Cramer said Road and Bridge Superintendent Butch Penton talked with the Bureau of Land Management Tuesday and there would be no delays in moving the road a quarter-mile away from the subdivision.

The commissioners moved forward signing an application to apply to the BLM.

According to Cramer, the next step for the commissioners is to get a right-of-way in place and then decide whether the commissioners would put the needed road in place themselves or contract the work out .

Cramer was uncertain on what the time frame for finishing the subdivision road would be.

• The commissioners discussed proper handling of dead animals with Gary Eiden of Eiden Construction.

Eiden informed the commissioners that dead animals are being dropped off at the transfer station.

“We told the Highway Department we’d take the animals to the landfill,” Cramer said. “It’s not Gary’s (Eiden’s) obligation.”

Eiden said he had no problem taking the dead animals.

Cramer said the commissioners are writing a letter to Wyoming Game and Fish letting them know they need to pick up game that has been dumped along the transfer station road to help control part of the problem.

Cramer asked the commissioners and Waste Management Superintendent Rick Hoffman if they wanted Eiden to take the animals.

“If we have communication so we know what is inside the containers,” Hoffman replied.

Linn suggested using separate containers as well as offering to take dead animals at the landfill for free but charging $25 a head for disposal at the transfer station.

“We need to make it easier to dispose of these animals properly,” Cramer said, “or people will just keep dumping them at the gate. Let’s work out a system to identify the loads (items inside the containers). We need to make it easy, convenient and cheap.”

Eiden also informed the commissioners that people are dumping trash at the gates of the transfer station.

“We need to get the sheriffs included (in this matter),” Linn said.

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