From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 104, Number 41 - October 11, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

BloomField subdivision advances

by Jennie Oemig

At its meeting Monday, the Town Council heard from Matt Harber, representing the Harber Family Trust, in regard to the new BloomField subdivision, which is still in the early planning stages after the town Planning and Zoning (P&Z) board approved the request for recommendation of compliance at its Oct. 1 meeting.

According to the statement of proposed use, the BloomField is a master-planned community that extends over 230 acres, including residential and commercial property. The master plan of the community was put in place to impose strict guidelines for design to assure that it will be a sustainable high-density development.

If the subdivision is approved, the new elementary school, upon which construction is slated to begin in the spring, will also be located in the BloomField.

Based on the council’s decision, the proposal would then either be advertised for 30 days and move through the necessary legal process or be scrapped altogether.

“I know that there’s a fair amount of interest in this,” council member Dave Hohl said, requesting that Harber give the council a brief overview of what the plans entailed. Harber then explained that he’s been working with developers to get the process off the ground and has advised many interested parties of his plans for the new subdivision. “I’ve been working to answer as many questions as possible before coming here,” he said.

After presenting a map of the proposed subdivision to the council and those in attendance, Harber clarified why things appeared as they did.

“What you see on the map is loosely based on conversations I’ve had with town officials and during workshops,” he said. Harber insisted that no matter what might become of Pinedale in the forthcoming years, the subdivision will prove worthy of being a part of its future.

“We think that whenever the natural gas boom ends, whether it be a bust or a slow fizzle, that the town needs to have a strong backbone,” he said.

Though the map is a useful guide to envision what the subdivision might look like, Harber said that it didn’t show the efforts that will be taken to create pathways and allow for green space, as well as contain ponds and habitat.

The prospect of having a school, and possibly all three schools at some point in the future, in the design schematic is one thing that Harber said would be good for all those involved. If the plans go forth, the construction of the school, which will begin in April regardless of whether the BloomField is approved, will take place in the subdivision.

A new middle school, which will be in the works a few years down the road, would also be located in the BloomField, Harber said. At the request of the P&Z board, Harber said he has been in contact with the necessary entities, including the Game & Fish Department, the fire department and emergency response teams, which would be most directly affected by a new development of this nature.

After Planning and Zoning Administrator Meghan Jacquet read the motion made by the P&Z board on Oct. 1, Town Engineer Eugene Ninnie said everything seemed to be in line and all the necessary steps had been completed.

“The application is ready to move forward,” he said.

Town Clerk Patty Racich then said if the request was in compliance and approved by the council that the proposal would enter into a 30-day advertisement period and would go to a public hearing on Nov. 26.

Mayor Steve Smith, after hearing that the request was approved by the P&Z board with only three members present, said that it might not be a bad idea for the proposal to be sent back to the commission for more comment, though Town Attorney Ed Wood said that wasn’t necessary.

“It would be nice if the Planning and Zoning members that weren’t present [could voice their opinions and concerns],” Smith said.

After more discussion regarding whether or not to send the proposal back to the P&Z board, it was decided that a quorum was present and that the vote of the board was binding.

The motion was made and unanimously approved to accept the request for the recommendation of compliance.

In other council news:

• John Walters approached the council in regard to a sewer connection issue he had on his property. The current sewer line that Walters said he would like to attach to has been asphalted under the Obo’s parking lot, therefore hindering his connection process.

Walters said he would appreciate it if he were grandfathered in and allowed to connect to that line whenever possible.

“When Obo’s has to do gas tank work, which Gene [Ninnie] said will have to be done, they’ll have that whole thing tore up,” Walters said, expressing his desire to have his connection issue addressed at that time. Wood said it would be in the Walters’ best interest to draft some sort of agreement with the landowner to make sure that if the property changes ownership, that the situation will be maintained.

“It seems like a logical pursuit to me,” Smith said.

After asking the rest of the council members for their input, Smith gave Walters the go-ahead to start drafting some legal documentation to get the ball rolling.

“If you get the papers drawn up, it sounds like you’ll have the council’s blessing,” Smith told Walters. “Just let us know when you have the paperwork done.” Wood told Walters that it would be wise to get a right-of-way or easement from Obo’s owner Chopper Grassell. He also suggested that the details discussed during the meeting be put on record in the minutes, acknowledging that the council approved the process to avoid any issues 10 or 15 years down the road.

• Tony Chamber, the designer for the proposed 1st Bank building, which is to be constructed on the corner of Wilson Street and Entertainment Lane, was in attendance to hear the council’s decision regarding the bank’s building permit.

Jacquet said that the new facility will only be an extension to 1st Bank and will not replace the current building. The new bank will provide more office space and have a drive-up window, she explained. The building permit was unanimously approved by the council.

• The council unanimously approved the Bureau of Land Management’s request for a temporary residential trailer permit renewal for an additional six months.

• The council unanimously approved the request for the final plat recommendation for Solitude Properties, LLC to divide up property in the Redstone Country Club commercial addition into 12 condominiums.

• Ron Hanson of Public Works approached the council during the citizens’ concerns segment to ask for a backup controller for the chlorinator system.

“We’d like to get it as soon as possible and put it in,” he said as he handed each of the council members a piece of paper that listed the anticipated costs. “If we could get that price OK’d so we can get that ordered.” Hanson said the budget included a couple hundred thousand dollars to cover the expenses, though the controller would not exceed $6,000.

The council unanimously approved the request.

• Several ordinances were read and passed at Monday’s meeting. Ordinance 422 – relating to the modification of the definition of restraint on third and final reading; ordinance 423 – relating to the enhanced penalty for nuisance dogs within the town limits on third and final reading; ordinance 424 – relating to the adoption of the Town Master Plan on second reading; ordinance 425 – relating to the terms of P&Z members on second reading; ordinance 426 – relating to the prohibiting of private parties controlling public parking on second reading; ordinance 427 – relating to the building and development standards for condominiums on first reading.

The next meeting of the Town Council will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Town Hall.

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