Residents of the neighborhood around Bobolink Lane will need to wait another month for an answer as to whether a property in the neighborhood will be annexed into the city and developed.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the Laramie City Council voted unanimously to postpone all four agenda items relating to the annexation and potential development of an almost six-acre property on the county road.
Councilman Charles McKinney was absent from the meeting.
The postponements include the third and final readings to annex and zone the property as well as the first and only readings of the preliminary plat and comprehensive plan adjustment. All four items will be considered again at the Oct. 1 meeting.
While there wasn’t much comment from the council on the issue, Mayor Joe Shumway noted the developer approached the city asking for the postponement.
Councilman Paul Weaver added due to the controversial nature of the proposed development and a “number of unresolved aspects,” the developer, city staff and the council want “more time to look at” the issue.
“Postponement of these four items has been deemed appropriate with the hope that we can identify some solutions for several of the issues pointed out in the discussion before,” he said.
Although no public comment was made Tuesday, the potential annexation of the property has been controversial among neighboring residents. In previous readings, a number of the residents in the neighborhood surrounding the development expressed concerns about the potential impact the proposed high-density housing would have on their properties and businesses.
City staff noted the proposed development would provide the area with much-needed housing diversity, especially with Laramie High School, the Laramie Community Recreation Center and other amenities close by.
The developer, Z-Holmes and Properties, would be responsible for bringing the roads within the annexed area up to city standards with curb and gutter.
The residents in the nearby neighborhoods, however, are responsible for the upkeep of the surrounding county roads. Many raised concerns during the first two readings about how an increase in traffic in the area would affect the unpaved portion of Bobolink Lane between Fairview Drive and where it connects to Grand Avenue.
During the second reading of the zoning of the property in August, the council voted to change it from the city’s recommendation for R3 zoning, which allows for multi-family apartments, to R2 zoning, which allows for anything up to a fourplex.
Part of his reasoning behind proposing the reduced zoning, Councilman Brian Harrington said during the second reading, is because of its location on the aquifer.
Some members of the public also raised concerns about developing on the land because of its position on the Casper Aquifer Protection Overlay Zone and a nearby aquifer fault line, citing concerns the setbacks for the development would not adequately reflect the nature of a fault zone in the area.
Recognizing a fault zone would require greater setback requirements on the development.