As a group concerned with preserving water quality, we occasionally see county and city planning and zoning issues that broadly affect the development of our community. Some are so unusual they demand people look at what is happening.

The Albany County Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) approved amending the Albany County Comprehensive Plan to reclassify a parcel across Bluebird Lane from the former Tumbleweed gas station, taking the property from Priority Growth Area 4 to Priority Growth Area 1.

Appreciate what that means. According to the Comprehensive Plan: “Conservation and protection of agricultural operations, wildlife habitat, and sensitive lands is a high priority in PGA 4. Low-density residential uses are encouraged.” (page 33)

On the other hand, “The intent is for properties in PGA 1 to develop to City densities and standards, and annex or eventually annex to the City of Laramie.” (page 27)

P&Z approved this change even though everyone who spoke at the hearing - including the commissioners themselves - opposed annexation or anything leading to annexation. Yet, this is a stated goal of Priority Growth Area 1.

This change is driven by proposed re-zoning of the same property from small-lot residential to commercial. Readers may remember poles, railroad ties and machinery piled on this property, as the county failed to enforce the residential zoning. P&Z has approved the proposed re-zoning. The final decision will be made by the Albany County Commissioners at their next regular meeting this Tuesday, December 3, at 9:30 am in the commissioners’ room in the basement of the courthouse.

Changes to the long range plan have implications for our future. Already the new owners of Tumbleweed purchased the lot immediately to their west. Other plans to commercialize this area may be in the works. The rezoning is a step toward what can be a major change to this end of town.

Albany County Clean Water Advocates have never supported annexation. We believe the proposed re-zoning and Comprehensive Plan amendment unnecessarily opens a can of worms.

Albany County residents may express their opinions at the hearing or by emailing the county commissioners: commissioners@co.albany.wy.us.

Martin Greller

Laramie

(1) comment

Watch Dog

It's obvious that the Tumbleweed is in business to stay. The way the people are patronizing the joint is unreal. As if they don't realize that cheap gas is not so cheap when laws are being broken and the drinking water is in jeopardy. Bluebird Lane has turned into a traffic hazard. People are so excited to get this cheap gas they lose all common sense. These people pull in front of others, stop on the road, turn corners without looking. I have seen semi's park in the middle of the road- then maneuver themselves backwards onto the pump stations. Bluebird Lane is no longer safe to use for us local people trying to get home. This once quiet little "LANE" has now turned into a genuine traffic hazard. What was once "Grandfathered in" is no longer in existence. AKAL is probably doing the same thing here they do at their AKAL gas station on I-80 exit 290. People are complaining that their 20 gallon gas tank now holds 25 gallons or, they charge you twice for your gas and tell you to get out of here or, they are selling cheap E-85 gas as regular gas and it will eventually ruin your engine. Who really is to blame here? People patronizing the place or the commissioners and county attorney for not stopping this along time ago.

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