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Victory for landowners

Re: Riparian regulations

The rejection of the riparian restrictions by the County Commissioners was certainly a victory for private landowners.

This past week it was heartening to witness such courage openly demonstrated by various Sheridan County residents at the riparian proposal meeting and by other Sheridan County residents regarding local issues as well.

Sheridan County residents like the elderly gentleman who demanded his first amendment rights at the riparian proposal meeting.

Then there was the “cowboy” in his long-sleeve white shirt that stood in 95 plus degree heat openly demonstrating his opposition to the bond issue for over a week on Coffeen Avenue.

Still, it haunts me as to why Sheridan County residents had to “jump through the hoops” to protect their constitutional rights regarding private land ownership and their desire for lower taxes in our struggling economy.

In my opinion there seems to be a problem in the interpretation of past surveys initiated by the Sheridan County Planning Department and the proposed restrictions that are being voted upon by the Sheridan County Commissioners.

I have issue and question as to why the Sheridan County Planning Department didn’t more aggressively reach out to local engineering firms who were (and are) certainly well qualified to perform the recently contracted riparian study with associated mapping.

The Colorado-based engineering firm AECOM may have done what it was asked to do by the Sheridan County Planning Department but the $70,000 plus dollars that were expended by Sheridan County on the riparian buffer proposal would have been more wisely spent locally involving local engineering firms that know and fully understand the geological aspects of Sheridan County.

In addition, dealing with out of state entities like the Colorado engineering firm AECOM (who is no longer in business) certainly carries financial risks to Sheridan County.

In the near future, the Sheridan County wide Comprehensive Plan will be revisited by the Planning Department and more restrictions may be proposed.

I am hopeful the Sheridan County government will be reasonable with regard to its interpretation and application of the comprehensive plan and that Sheridan County residents remain vigilant.

 

Mark Steingass

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