City approves East Fifth Street corridor plan

SHERIDAN — The East Fifth Street Corridor Plan, which has been in the works since December 2011, received approval by the Sheridan City Council at its regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening.

A joint effort between the city, county and Wyoming Department of Transportation, the plan has been approved by the city planning commission, county commissioners and city council members and can now be used to improve one of Sheridan’s major transportation corridors with short- and long-term projects.
Created as a policy and visionary document, the East Fifth Street Corridor Plan is not regulatory.

The main goal of the plan is to make Fifth Street an attractive gateway to downtown Sheridan, city Planning and Development Director Robert Briggs said. It is the result of a lengthy public involvement process used to determine what stakeholders, business owners, homeowners and city and county officials envision for this main entry into Sheridan.

“The overriding thing that we heard time and time again from the stakeholders in this was that they wanted a safe, well-designed street with multiple options for travel,” Briggs said.

The East Fifth Street Corridor Plan encompasses three distinct districts — residential, railroad/historic and hospitality/employment — spanning two miles of Fifth Street from North Main Street to the junction with Wildcat Road east of Interstate 90. With full approval from all involved, projects can now begin and will be accomplished over a span of one to 20 years.

Key elements of the plan include:

• improved street design and traffic flow specific to each district.
• the addition of bike lanes and designated pedestrian walkways.
• improved signage to direct traffic flow and highlight areas of significance such as the Bozeman Trail.
• creating open spaces and attractions such as a sculpture park.
• improving lighting and moving overhead utility lines underground.
• amending the city’s R-3 Residential zoning district to permit mixed uses along the corridor.

This will include low intensity development such as neighborhood shops and offices but will exclude high intensity uses such as gas stations, convenience retail and theaters allowed in a business district.
City Council discussed the best way to encourage industrial development east of I-90 in the interchange/hospitality/employment district.

Briggs originally proposed looking at a conditional use permit process, but Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey was worried that would take too long and recommended zoning the area east of East Ridge Road to the junction with Wildcat Road as M-1.

“These industrial uses need a home,” Kinskey said.

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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