Pinedale P&Z votes down County Shop request
Citizens speak out in opposition
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
January 16, 2007
There was a standing-room only crowd at the Town of Pinedale Planning & Zoning Board meeting at the Pinedale Town Hall on Tuesday night to speak on the agenda topic of Sublette County's request for a zone change for a parcel of property located near Rendezvous Pointe Senior Citizen Center in Pinedale.
The county wants to build a maintenance shop for their facilities maintenance department. The new building would house equipment for grounds maintenance, snow removal, painting booth and paint storage, janitorial services and maintenance equipment and vehicles for county buildings including the courthouse, library and sheriff's department, among others. The facilities maintenance department has about 12 staff members and is separate from the county road and bridge department.
Bart Myers, Planning Director for the Sublette County Planning & Zoning Office, spoke on behalf of the County Commissioners requesting the zone change for the new building. He said the structure would be designed to match the architecture of the Rendezvous Pointe building, and the grounds would be landscaped to include grassy areas with picnic tables, mature trees, and possibly a ‘water feature’ of some kind. The building would also house a back-up generator which would also serve Rendezvous Pointe during power outages.
Approximately 14 people spoke out against the proposal, including representatives from Sublette Center Retirement Center, Rendezvous Pointe Senior Center and the Children's Discovery Center, which are located adjacent to the property.
Susan Kramer, on the Board of Directors for Rendezvous Pointe Senior Center, said their board had met and voted on the matter making a statement that they “believe the land north of Rendezvous Pointe would be better used for seniors and would like the County to find another location for the county shop.”
Numerous community members then took turns speaking against the proposed building. Most felt the property would be better utilized in a way that would be more compatible with the existing buildings in the area and reserved for future services for senior citizens.
The Town Planning & Zoning Board received 20-30 letters in opposition to the zone change request. There was also a letter of opposition signed by 50 senior citizens who were not in favor of the proposal and wanted to see the land used for senior housing or services.
Planning & Zoning Board member Paul Rock asked if there was anyone at all in the audience to speak in favor of the proposal, and his question was met by silence.
After lengthy public comment, a motion was made to recommend denying the zone change request, which was passed unanimously.
The Planning & Zoning Board's recommendation isn't the final say on the matter, however. The zone change request next goes before the Pinedale Town Council for a final decision. The Council meets next Monday, January 22nd at 5:30 pm at the Pinedale Town Hall.