Sublette Commissioners approve QEP rezone request
To build a new office building complex south of Pinedale
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
September 7, 2010
The Sublette County Commissioners approved a request by QEP (formerly Questar) to rezone agricultural land approximately two miles south of Pinedale to build a new office building and storage lot.
The Commissioner meeting was held upstairs in the District Courtroom of the Sublette County Courthouse to accommodate the large audience expected to make comments on the proposal.
The project has generated both supporters and opponents. Supporters have been in favor of the anticipated 70 new well-paying jobs and local economic benefits the new office building will bring. Opponents cited concerns mostly over possible contamination from the light industrial storage yard aspect of the project, which is located on a sagebrush bench above Pine Creek. The project was supported by the Sublette County Chamber of Commerce and the Sublette Economic Resource Council (SERC). The Pinedale Town Council sent the County Commissioners a resolution opposed to the proposal. Also speaking in opposition were the Upper Green River Valley Coalition, Citizens United for Responsible Energy Development (CURED), and Sublette County Health Officer Tom Johnston.
QEP first brought the proposal forward in 2009, but then withdrew it after concerns were voiced from the community. QEP modified their proposal and brought it forward again for consideration in 2010. Their proposal is to develop 20 of 200 acres of the former Pines End Ranch requiring a zone change from Agricultural to part Commercial and part Light Industrial. The project involves a 40-office commercial building for their growing staff and a secure light industrial storage yard for new equipment for their operations in the Pinedale Anticline natural gas fields south of Pinedale. The land to be developed is located on a sagebrush bench west of US 191 and east of Pine Creek. QEP Energy Company focuses on the natural gas exploration and production aspect of the parent company QEP Resources, which is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.
The Sublette County Planning & Zoning Commission approved the request at their regular meeting on August 19, voting 3 to 2 of it. The zone change request was also recommended by the county Planning & Zoning staff.
After a long meeting listening to many comments, Commissioners Joel Bousman and Bill Cramer ultimately voted in favor of the zone change request. Commissioner John Linn attempted to join the meeting from British Columbia using a live Skype computer link, but due to technical difficulties in the connection his participation was lost before the final vote was taken.
QEP project receives approval Sublette Examiner, August 23, 2010
SERC slammed for QEP support Sublette Examiner, July 5, 2010
SERC future uncertain in light of QEP support Pinedale Roundup, July 1, 2010
QEP revisits proposed new Pinedale office facility Pinedale Online, July 1, 2010 (12 photos)