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County P&Z Commission talks about public uses

SHERIDAN — Members of the Sheridan County Planning and Zoning Commission approved a lot size variance and quarry permit renewal at their regular meeting Thursday. Commissioners also began discussion on whether zoning regulations should be altered to allow some public uses in specified zones.

At this point, all public uses such as schools, fire districts, airports and water tanks require a conditional use permit in any zone.

Joyce McGregor applied for a lot size variance for her property on the east side of Centennial Lane. The 4.55 acre lot is zoned urban residential and is within the groundwater protection area.

McGregor has requested a quarter-acre reduction of her lot so she can sell that piece of land to her neighbor. The neighbor paid the $475 variance fee and said he won’t build or hook up to sewer on that piece of land.

Lots in a groundwater protection area are typically required to be five acres minimum. McGregor’s 4.55-acre parcel was the remainder of a quick claim deed, County Planner Mark Reid said.

Commissioners and staff felt McGregor presented a reasonable case for lot size reduction and her request was approved.

The S.K. Johnston Quarry southeast of Brinton Road applied for a quarry permit to continue operation of a 10-acre quarry used to mine screen sand for use on nearby polo fields. Approximately 80 percent of the sand produced is used by the owner, representative Martin MacCarty said. The rest of the sand is sold to nearby polo fields and the Buffalo golf course.

The commissioners approved the five-year quarry permit with four conditions regarding permit length, quarry size, maintenance of roads and hours of operation not to include Sundays.

During staff comments, Reid asked planning commissioners to be prepared to discuss public uses, which include anything owned publicly by city, county, state or federal government, and whether some should be allowed in specific zones at their next meeting Oct. 3.

Reid handed out a table listing all possible public uses and all zoning districts and asked commissioners to brainstorm which uses could be permitted in which zones. The county would then begin the process of changing the zoning regulations so that conditional use permits — and the required hearings before planning commission and county commissioners — would not be required for all public uses.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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