By Ann Jantz, Wyo4News
ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (Dec. 18, 2019) — Rock Springs City Council on Tuesday voted to approve a resolution which would increase the number of planned lots from 28 to 55 in Sweetwater Station Addition Phase 2 near Northpark Elementary School.
Voting in favor of the major amendments to the preliminary development plan/preliminary plat were Councilmen Billy Shalata, Glennise Wendorf, David Halter, Tim Savage, Rob Zotti, Jeanne Demas and David Tate. Mayor Tim Kaumo and Councilman Keaton West abstained from voting.
In August the Council voted down a similar resolution that proposed increasing the number of lots to 73. At that time residents living in the Sweetwater Station Phase 1 development strongly opposed the increase.
This time was no different. Residents from Phase 1 were on hand Tuesday night to again ask that Council not pass the proposed increase.
Resident Jay Schneiders noted the proposal does not have the support of the Home Owners Association. He said approving it made “no sense” as City Planner Laura Leigh indicated that if approved, it would move back to the developer and the HOA to work out.
Resident Fred von Ahrens said, “I respectfully ask City Council to stop this madness.”
Developer Rob Debernardi asked Council to support the proposed lot increase, saying they should stand up for their campaign promises of economic development.
Councilman Shalata, who voted against the increase in August, said he did so last time so that both parties could find a compromise. He noted the HOA indicated it would agree to an increase to 42 lots; with Debernardi proposing an increase to 55 lots, he thought the small difference was negligible and both parties should be able to compromise.
“I wish you would consider meeting again, and find a compromise,” Shalata said. “We don’t want to stop development.”
Providing The Data
Before Council voted on the resolution, Leigh discussed previous planning that was done when the first phase was mapped out. She noted a plan for Phase 2 was also drawn up at the time.
Leigh said the city can’t have two conflicting recorded documents, and her job was to make sure records were not in conflict.
She noted Planned Unit Developments — which Sweetwater Station was developed as under rural estates zoning rules — allows for deviations but ultimately must be consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.
The PUD was recommended for Sweetwater Station back in March 2002 so that homeowners could have larger lots and horses; the PUD provided for specific restrictions in regards to having horses, Leigh explained.
Originally planned with one-acre lots, lot size was increased to two acres on Dec. 17, 2002, and Phase 1 was planned with 26 lots.
The lots in Phase 2 will range in acreage from about .4 to .68. The plan comes with the following conditions:
- All utility review comments must be addressed.
- Increase accessory structure setbacks as discussed.
- Provide lot coverage requirements as discussed.
- Coordination between the developer and the Home Owner’s Association must take place prior to the submittal of a Final Development Plan/Final Plat as the covenants will have to be amended to reflect any changes.
Leigh also noted the additional conditions to be addressed: relocation of the pedestrian right-of-way so that it lines up with Phase 1, update the setback table for principal structures and accessory structures to correct the inconsistencies, and update the maximum allowable lot coverage by structures.
There will be no through access from Phase 1 to Phase 2. Instead, access into Phase 2 will be provided from Signal Drive and Summit Drive extension, which Leigh said would decrease the traffic impact.
Also, no horses will be allowed in Phase 2, she added.