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County opens comments on riparian buffers

SHERIDAN — Sheridan County Commissioners proposed amendments to county zoning regulations in order to establish riparian buffers along county streams and wetlands at a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.

The buffer zones are intended to protect water, vegetation and habitat quality in the county by restricting development in a 50-foot riparian buffer zone as measured from the stream bank or ordinary high water mark.

 

The Riparian Steering Committee has opened a public comment period regarding the proposed amendments that will end April 8. A copy of the proposed regulations can be picked up at the Sheridan County Public Works Department at 224 South Main St., requested by mail by calling 675-2420, or viewed online at: www.sheridancounty.com/info/assets/pw-plan/Riparian_draft.pdf.

The commissioners also unanimously approved a resolution regarding the East Fifth Street Corridor Plan, which is a collaboration between the county, the city of Sheridan and the Wyoming Department of Transportation. The city will consider the plan at its meeting March 18.

County Planner Mark Reid said he is happy with the final plan.

“The responses we’ve received and the participation we’ve had throughout the planning process, I feel like we bore that out,” Reid said following the meeting. “As proposals come up, development proposals along East Fifth Street, we’ll evaluate the proposal in light of what the bigger plan says, and that’ll help the commissioners with their decisions.”

Board members also approved a conditional use permit for Story Community Church to construct a single-story addition to the south end of the church building on Ponderosa Drive in Story. The new sanctuary will seat 120 people, and the old sanctuary will be used as a meeting space.

More than 20 members of Story Community Church attended the county commission meeting to show their support for the expansion.

“I cannot say enough about Story Community Church,” said Jerry Prescott, president of the Story Fire Department. The fire department and the church operate a food pantry together and hope to collaborate on more community outreach efforts.

The only concern commissioners expressed was regarding parking. However, the church is part of the Ponderosa Home Owners’ Association and will work with them on parking and snow removal concerns.

In other business:
• County commissioners approved a rezone of 26.64 acres in the Ostheimer Minor Subdivision outside Ranchester from urban residential to agricultural.

• The Ucross Foundation received approval for its permit for supervised public display of fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July this year.

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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