Volume 103, Number 17 - December 28, 2006
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Airport rezoned Heavy Industrial
The Planning and Zoning commission had to face the eventuality of burgeoning commercial and industrial uses around the Airport, and dealt with two issues there at their recent Board meeting.
The Town of Pinedale represented by Lil Penton from the Airport Board, requested a zone change from light industrial to heavy industrial for Ralph Wenz Field. The rezoning would apply to the entire 400 acres of the Airport property. The Airport Board sought the change in order to allow hangars that could be 50 feet high.
Under light industrial zoning, buildings are limited to 35 feet. The Board needs taller hangars to accommodate larger jets which are utilizing the airport more and more as gas field activity increases.
The Airport Board was granted two building permits for hangars in September. The Planning and Zoning Board was reticent to give heavy industrial approval to 400 acres, and explored the idea of granting a variance for building height. In the end, they approved the zone change with the condition that the acres remain an airport use only, and disapproved any other uses.
The Board added a landscaping stipulation as well, and asked the Airport Board to submit a master landscaping plan in six months.
Neighbors to the airport expressed reservations about the zone change, with concerns of sexually-oriented businesses to industrial buildings obstructing natural views of the Winds.
The application got unanimous approval for a recommendation to grant it sent to the County Commissioners. Later in the meeting, another industrial use issue came up regarding the same area.
Joella Dugan submitted an application seeking to develop an industrial transportation parking facility in the commercially-zoned area across from the Airport. Dugan had purchased a 5 acre lot in the Cobblestone Subdivision with the intent to build a parking lot for industrial vehicles, thereby getting them out of residential areas. Dugan also wished to construct a 3,000 square foot maintenance building for the vehicles.
Under County Regulations, such a parking facility is allowed as a conditional use of a general commercial zoning district. Dugan wanted to have the facility open from five a.m. to ten p.m. in the summer, noting that trucks do not get off of the Jonah Field till later during summer hours. The maximum number of tractors allowed would be eight, and only ten trailers would be allowed.
The proposed site is adjacent to a residentially-developed area.
Several homeowners appeared at the meeting, to decry the proposal. Two noted that had the area been zoned heavy industrial at the time they purchased their residential lots, they wouldn’t have bought them.
“I think there’s a need for this, but there are some concerns in my mind about where it’s located,” Albert Sommers noted, bringing up wastewater concerns. The proposed parking lot would be next to an irrigation ditch.
Suzy Michnevich also had some issues with approving the application, bringing up noise and view concerns for the residential lot owners. She had disagreed with zoning residential in the area originally.
Judi Adler questioned whether an industrial transportation parking lot was actually an interpretation of a conditional use in a commercial area, and noted that she thinks it is a conflicting use with the residential area.
The Planning and Zoning Board unanimously recommended denial of the application to the County Commissioners.
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