Wednesday, December 1, 2010

County approves Wenner subdivision

Snowplowing, building envelope concerns addressed

Express Staff Writer

The Wenner property sits amid vast public lands near the Pioneer Mountains.

Concern about large building envelopes didn't prevent the Blaine County Commission from approving the 152-acre, three-lot Jaspar Ranch subdivision Tuesday.

Though the application's main controversy has been over winter access to popular trailheads along Hyndman Creek Road northeast of Triumph, the commissioners focused yesterday on limiting disturbance to the site, which contains winter habitat for elk.

"We're all trying to meet the same goal, to limit disturbance," Commissioner Angenie McCleary said.

The proposed building envelopes, or portions of the three lots that could be developed, were about four acres, a size McCleary called "concerning" during the commissioners' Nov. 16 meeting.

"The building envelopes are very large, larger than any I've seen," she said.

However, the commissioners kept the four-acre envelopes, and Commissioner Larry Schoen said that gives the landowners flexibility regarding location of structures such as a house or a barn. Total development must be contained within two acres, located anywhere in the four-acre building envelope.

The approved subdivision application also includes an expanded parking area. The current 7,500-square-foot area has been deemed inadequate by skiers, snowshoers and Pioneer yurt users.

Approval of the application was contingent on an agreement requiring current or future landowners to ensure that Hyndman Creek Road remains plowed.

The property—located in the shadow of the Pioneer Mountains—is owned by magazine publisher Jann Wenner.

Katherine Wutz:

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