SHERIDAN — Sheridan City Council had just enough members to meet quorum at its regularly scheduled meeting Monday. Four out of seven members were present, with three being absent due to sickness and vacation leave.
Having only a quorum forced the council to table a request to rezone approximately two acres from R-1 residential to R-3 residential in the Cloud Peak Ranch development near Highland Park School on Mydland Road. Approving the ordinance would have required all four council members present to vote in favor of the rezone.
In order to allow for further discussion with all members of the council present, the matter was tabled until the Aug. 5 council meeting.
Due to resident concern and uncertainty on plans for the development, which is slated for land east of the Traditions neighborhood at the intersection of Dome Drive and Mydland Road, a few councilors said they could not support it at this time.
They urged the developer to work with residents of the adjacent Traditions neighborhood to address concerns about density, increased traffic, lot sizes and lack of open space.
“During outreach in the area with the neighbors surrounding, there was a lot of discussion that I had on the steps of homes with individual homeowners that there was some questions on certainty moving forward. I heard over and over and over again, ‘I want to come right out and tell you that I’m supportive of development behind my home. I knew there was going to be development behind my home.’ Where there was some struggle was clarity on what that development would look like,” Councilor Alex Lee said.
The public hearing for the rezone request lasted nearly one hour. Planning and Development Director Robert Briggs noted in his staff report that more than half of the proposed development area was zoned R-3 residential, while the remaining 2.28 acres was zoned R-1 residential. The split in the zoning occurred in July 2004 when a conceptual map was created to delineate zoning districts for the area. As individual subdivisions have been developed, the zoning has been adjusted to match the design, style and specific requirements of each subdivision, Briggs said.
Planning staff did recommend that the rezone request include the condition that any development in the R-3 zone be limited to two-story, single-family units even though R-3 zoning would allow for apartment style housing.
Much of the rest of the public hearing dealt with preliminary plans for the development. Four out of six Traditions residents were present to express concern about density (22 lots versus seven in the Traditions neighborhood which is slightly smaller), increased traffic if Featherbed Lane is extended into the new development and a seeming lack of open space with smaller lot sizes.
The rezone will be considered Aug. 5. In the meantime, the developer was asked to work on bringing a firmer conceptual plan before council so council members and residents would have a clearer picture of what the development will look like before they approve a rezone and subsequent development plans.
“We’ve asked the developer to go back out and consider — we’re not telling him what to do — bringing greater certainty to the plan for future years so that people who buy a home there will be confident that what they saw on a piece of paper is what will go up next door or down the street from them,” Mayor Dave Kinskey said.