By Becky Christofferson
Pine Bluffs Post 

Last day to submit comments for Pine Bluffs North Wells Land project

 


Today is the last day for Town of Pine Bluffs residents to voice their suggestions and concerns for the North Wells Land Use Master Plan. A web-based comment card is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NorthWellsWorkshopNo2.

This survey helps to gather data about what the residents would like to see happen to the land that the Town of Pine Bluffs bought in the fall of 2014. The town hired AVI, P.C., an engineering, planning and surveying firm of Cheyenne, to help conduct the study and collect the data from what Pine Bluffs residents shared. Tom Cobb of AVI is the project manager.

With the purchase of the land, the Pine Bluffs Town Council nearly doubles the size of the incorporated area of the Town of Pine Bluffs. Cobb said that the town recognizes that this recent land acquisition represents both a “significant opportunity and a considerable responsibility.”

“The planning effort, and the scale it represents in relation to the current Town of Pine Bluffs,will allow the governing body to do the planning necessary to ensure future economic growth and benefit to the community,” Cobb said.

The online comment card asks residents to rate the importance of different design improvement elements that could be incorporated into the North Wells development street standards as either very important, important, neutral, unimportant, very unimportant and no opinion.


Some of these improvements include on-street parking in residential areas, on-street parking in commercial and/or industrial areas, center left turn lane, curb and gutter, sidewalk adjacent to curb and gutter, sidewalk detached from curb and gutter, street lighting at intersections, street lighting along corridor and roadway medians.

Also part of the survey is opinions on roadway street lighting and which type of lighting residents would prefer to see in the new section. Options include a hybrid solar/wind type, an architectural-street type or a standard street light. The survey asks if residents would like an on-site storm water detention facility or a regional storm water detention facility.

The last part of the survey is looking at six different snapshots of what the roadways could look like on the new land. Residents can look at these and decide between if they definitely like, like, have no opinion, do not like or definitely do not like each of the snapshots.

A vision workshop was held June 28, 2016 at the Pine Bluffs Town Hall to solicit ideas and comments regarding a planning study for the land development. Cobb said six residents came to the meeting, but that there 51 responses through an online survey, which was also conducted.


According to Pine Bluffs Treasurer Kim Patterson, the study was paid for through a grant.

After the first workshop, those comments and ideas were then presented to a steering committee. The committee is comprised of local business owners, members of High West Energy, members of the local school district, members of the senior citizens' center as well as Pine Bluffs town employees and the planning consultant.

The Town of Pine Bluffs along with AVI held a public meeting Oct. 20, in which 10 individuals attended to place their input on standards for the land. Individuals had the opportunity to show which guidelines they wanted for commercial, industrial, multi-family, and residential areas. Those guidelines included architectural standards, landscaping standards, property coverage, property or building setbacks, amenities, and development layout.

The information collected from this public meeting as well as that from the online survey will then again be brought to the steering committee. The committee will then refine the plan based on input received and present a preliminary presentation to the town council. After discussion with the council, a formalized presentation will be given.

Project Manager Tom Cobb said the town purchased the 318-acre plot of land because of the wells on the property. “The initial land purchase was undertaken to secure three irrigation wells and the ground water rights associated with those wells to secure a sustainable water supply for the Town’s future needs,” he explained. He further stated that prior to purchase, the land contained 234.61 acres of irrigated farm land which was planted with corn, oats, and alfalfa hay as recent as 2013.

“The importance of proper planning is imperative to illuminate both the pending opportunities associated with the land and the constraints that must be managed,” Cobb said. “The Town of Pine Bluffs understands that decisions made in the next several years, regarding the development of this land, will have implications for future generations of Pine Bluffs residents over the next 100 years or more.”

According to Cobb, the implementation of a well-developed land use plan that offers both guidance for decisions that must be made soon and flexibility to accommodate changes over time is essential to ensure optimal use of the property.

If a well-developed land master plan can be implemented, developers, businesses and other organizations have expressed interest which may assist in the creation of new jobs as well as the retention of existing jobs.

Residents who are interested can complete the online survey by the end of the day.

 

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