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SHERIDAN — Plans continue to move ahead for The Brinton Museum’s new building near Big Horn.
The Sheridan County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit for applicants from the New Museum at the Bradford Brinton Ranch to construct a 25,526-square-foot museum, gallery and bistro.
The proposed development will be a three-story earth shelter structure built into the hillside with a terrace southeast of the current museum space.
It will offer additional gallery space, a bistro overlooking the Bighorn Mountains and a gift shop in addition to office and event space.
The current gallery space is proposed to be used for classrooms and activities.
Applicants have also proposed a 5,000-square-foot area to be landscaped and used for outdoor events at the museum.
A new water and wastewater system will be installed and a parking area with 38 spaces constructed.
The property is zoned agricultural and consists of approximately 603 acres. The new museum addition will cover approximately six acres.
“Most of it will be buried into the hillside, so it won’t be a monstrous building sticking out into the open,” board Chair Steven Pearce said.
“It’s going to be a nice facility, and it’s really going to enhance and draw tourism into Sheridan County.”
One person commented at the meeting, in support of the new museum.
“This is one of those really good ideas that comes along every now and then,” neighbor Paul Wallop said.
In his staff report, County Planner Mark Reid said no negative comments have been received regarding the proposed development.
The Sheridan County Commissioners will consider the conditional use permit for the new building at its meeting July 2.
In other business, planning and zoning board members approved two new quarries in the county.
• The Fox Quarry will be located off Swaim Road. The property is zoned agricultural and consists of 294 acres, of which 10 acres would be used for the quarry. The site is currently used for livestock grazing, but the area proposed for the quarry is too rocky and rough to graze.
Applicant Patricia Fox has requested a five-year permit to excavate, grade and haul construction fill material on an “as sold” basis. The planning and zoning commission approved the application with six conditions including no crushing and any costs associated with damage to Swaim Road from hauling are to be covered by the applicant. County commissioners will consider the request July 2.
• The Ankney Decker Quarry will be located off the Decker Highway. The property is zoned agricultural and consists of 624 acres, of which 65 would be in the permitted area. The original request was to mine gravel, screen and/or crush gravel and haul off the site for 20 years. Planning commissioners worried about allowing crushing for that long of a period and approved the permit with the condition that crushing be allowed 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for 30 consecutive days.
David Mullinax, who was representing property owner Neil DeLapp, said the product will be used for a chip seal project near the Montana border.
No comments have been received from nearby residents. County commissioners will review the request July 2.