From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 7, Number 51 - March 13, 2008
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Bloomfield Carries On Behind The Scenes

by Tiffany Turner

After months in the headlines, the Bloomfield development appears to be fading into the background. The process, however, is anything but complete and the behind-the-scenes work moves forward at the same steady pace as before.

“Since the annexation took place we have been feverishly working on the next steps, which include platting the master plan and initializing plats for some of the zone districts, finalizing the guiding documents for the project such as the Development Standards and CC&Rs and furthering infrastructure and road design,” Developer Matt Harber said.

“We are working with several contractors and engineers in the design process to improve the efficiency of the phasing and overall methods and design as well.

“As a further window into the behind-the scenes of the development process, we are working with our current investors and securing other financial backing, which includes solidifying banking arrangements for temporary and permanent financing for the land, construction and development of the site. We are also diving into the marketing and branding aspects of the project and engaging the various developers and builders that have expressed interest in the project over the past year.”

According to Harber, the developers are still pursuing the concept of the school district constructing the new elementary school within the new community, as well as additional town and county facilities and services. “We hope to garner more interest and feedback as we move forward through the next steps from those who are taking an interest in the growth of the town,” Harber said.

In addition to continuing with the planning process, the physical features of the tract have also begun to take shape.

“Noble Construction is currently digging ponds as part of the Barber Creek stream restoration and enhancement project,” Harber said. “The southern pond is complete and the northern pond is well underway. Once those are complete, there will be little activity until we start into the rest of the streamr estoration project in late spring and summer. We also hope to start infrastructure and roads during the summer.”

Existing wind breaks and sheds are being removed as well.

Though the process is underway, Harber doesn’t see the Bloomfield being move-in ready any time soon. Harber said he sees the mobile home park being ready the soonest and – barring unforeseen issues – it will be ready at the end of this year. Other structures, such as the apartments and condos, will not begin vertical construction until the summer of 2009. All of these plans remain dependent on the completion of the 24-inch sewer line to be installed by the town on Ehman Lane.

“This will certainly be a long, drawn-out process, but I think what will be become more and more clear is the existence of an overall master plan for the development as a whole,” Harber said. “As various parts begin and develop, there will be a continuity in the thought process, planning and connectivity within the development. There will be an overall theme that connects the various zone districts as well as more tangible items such as pathways, roads, bike paths and green spaces that will hopefully flow from one to another.”

He sees a finished blue print as a way to offer mobility and diversity to the town economy and business district, he said. While Harber is not local (an issue discussed during the public meetings on the project) the developers are using local companies to plan this blueprint and give the developing process and concepts the local flair that so many crave.

“Both of our engineering firms are from Pinedale, our land planners are from Jackson, we are working with banks in both locations, local contractors are doing the current pond excavation and stream restoration and we are working with a number of other contractors who are interested in the excavation, utilities, road and bridge construction, etc.,” Harber said. “We always start at the local level and expand to other communities when more attention is needed. So far we have an amazing group of people that are actively engaged and share our vision for the project, which is very helpful when I am lying awake at night trying to figure out how this is all going to come together.”

This current planning will be back on the table during April’s town council meetings to further solidify everything the development will entail, with emphasis on the plats for the Mobile Home Park and commercial district.

“These plats are undergoing extensive engineering and planning for implementing the design concepts we have been discussing as well as infrastructure and road designs,” Harber said. “We will also be submitting our Development Standards and CC&Rs at that time, which we have been compiling for several months. Over the past few weeks they have been undergoing final review by several engineers, land planners, attorneys and other professionals in the industry to prepare for submittal.”

Harber said they are “still very interested” in getting input from the community “so this can truly be a community project.”

“We hope that once the Development Standards and CC&Rs are submitted, that people will take the time to read them and give us feedback.”

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