From the pages of
Pinedale Roundup
Volume 104, Number 7 - February 15, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Town council grants preliminary plat approval for Trails Creek subdivision
Construction in flood plain remains question
by Annie O’Brien

The Pinedale Town Council voted to give preliminary plat approval to WYBAL, LLC for an 83-lot subdivision. All the lots will house single-family homes, and five lots are east of Trails Creek.

Jack Vogt and Reed Armijo told the council they had gained an easement for an extension on Willow Creek Avenue, and could connect the Trails Creek subdivision to the Split Diamond community. WYBAL planned to expand a southern easement to a width of 60 feet, and will consider adding a pathway in the future.

WYBAL also hopes to connect to Pinedale’s sewer and water system. The reps said the Pinedale Planning and Zoning Board made several recommendations before voting to recommend the council give plat approval. The board instructed WYBAL to ensure any storm run-off water headed for the Colorado Ditch would be cleaned. WYBAL planned to install a grassland swale.

The planning and zoning board also encouraged WYBAL to provide pedestrian sidewalks. Board chairman Robert Brito, who explained the planning and zoning recommendations to the town council said curbs, gutters and sidewalks are “what makes neighborhoods,” by providing a space for residents to walk with their families and dogs.

The planning and zoning board also wanted WYBAL to note in their final plat application that the soil around Pine Creek may be vulnerable to erosion. The board requested WYBAL make that potential hazard known to buyers. Several of the proposed plats are located in a FEMA-delineated flood zone. Pinedale does not participate in the flood insurance program.

The WYBAL reps told the council the company no longer plans to place fencing between the lots near Pine Street, out of concern for wildlife Council member Gary Heuck expressed his concern about water run-off into the Colorado Ditch. He suggested the WYBAL representatives check the acreage amount near the ditch, as well as the amount of water running into the ditch per second.

Heuck also advised WYBAL to contact WYDOT, to find out if the culvert running beneath Pine Street near the Trails Creek subdivision could handle water output from the development. “We don’t want it flooding the Halliburton Inn” and other nearby businesses, Heuck said.

Heuck also expressed his skepticism about building sidewalks in the subdivision. The town, he said, lacked the proper equipment to maintain sidewalks. “As far as I’m concerned, sidewalks are a waste of time,” Heuck said. Council member Nylla Kunard suggested she would like to see sidewalks in town. She said Pinedale pedestrians currently lack broad, dry sidewalks.

“Right now you walk in the middle of the street,” Kunard said. Heuck thought gaining such an easement was unfeasible. He replied the government would be reluctant to grant an easement across wetlands.

Mayor Steve Smith said he was reluctant to forbid developers from building in flood zones because the town lacked an ordinance prohibiting such development. Town attorney Ed Wood advised the council that the town’s “master plan” states natural disasters should be avoided, and could be invoked to stop construction in the flood plain. Wood also proposed a “middle ground solution,” which would require houses built in the flood plain possess flood elevation certificates. The council voted to approve the preliminary plat with several of the conditions the planning and zoning board recommended.

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