Paddocks map

This map shows plans for the Paddocks subdivision south of Laramie.

Albany County Commissioners approved a plat for a 21-lot subdivision south of Laramie in November.

The approval of the Paddocks At Fort Sanders subdivision came despite the concerns of Albany County Fire District No. 1, which suggested the plat’s approval should be contingent on the developer installing a system to automatically open the gates on the northern edge of the subdivision in case of an emergency.

The planned subdivision is an extension of the Paddocks subdivision that developer John Evans began roughly a decade ago off Howe Road, which runs east of U.S. Highway 287 about a half mile south of the Cavalryman Steakhouse.

As the second phase of Paddocks subdivision develops, the primary access for the southern half will be City Ranch Road, an existing dirt road that sits to the south of the subdivision.

As the second phase of Paddocks subdivision develops, the primary access for the southern half will be City Ranch Road, an existing dirt road that sits to the south of the subdivision.

Developer John Evans plans to have City Ranch Road paved in 2020, after which it will be maintained by the county.

Before the plat was approved, ACFD No. 1 director Art Sigel repeatedly expressed concern about the fact that the northern entrance for Paddocks from Howe Road doesn’t have gates with automatic triggering mechanism. Sigel said firefighters shouldn’t have to leave their truck to open the gate.

“In a nutshell, we see liability there that we choose not to accept,” Sigel said.

However, the county’s regulations don’t establish any gate requirements for subdivisions, and Commissioner Heber Richardson said that the board had “no regulatory basis to accommodate” Sigel’s request.

“In our regs, we just don’t have the authority to require that, so anything the applicant would do would be appreciated, but it would just be something that the applicant would choose to do,” Richardson said.

Evans said that the gates at Post and Traverse roads have mechanical locks that shouldn’t significantly limit fire response times.

“Those are installed at this time, and it’s the kind of thing that can be opened in about 3 or 4 seconds,” Evans said.

“That’s true as long as the weather’s good, but I use those same kind of locks, and if they’re iced up, they are tough and it’s bad news,” said Commissioner Terri Jones at the county’s final November meeting. “And that might come with a humongous lawsuit if somebody dies because the fire department cant get in.”

Garrison Road will eventually provide a second access for the subdivision, but during the immediate build-out of the lots, City Ranch Road will be the only non-gated access.

Currently, only mountain subdivisions with more than 30 lots are required to have more than one access.

County Planner David Gertsch said the county should consider revisiting its regulation to consider having that requirement extended to all subdivisions with at least 30 lots.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.