From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 4 - 9/21/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Commissioners Approve Latest Saypol Development
"Packer Creek" parcels range in price from $375,000 - $675,000
by Rob Shaul

At their meeting September 12, the Sublette County Commissioners approved the latest large tract development in Sublette County by Jackson developer Ron Saypol. The "Packer Creek" development is located just east of the Hoback Rim, on the north side of Highway 191. It is accessed using the Miner Creek Road.

Mr. Saypol, who developed the 7-Mile River Ranch near Daniel, submitted a large tract development application to the county in which he proposed splitting approximately 400 acres of A-1 land into nine 35-50 acre parcels. The parcels are being marketed as home sites and have asking prices ranging from $375,000 to $675,000.

Several people spoke or wrote in opposition to Mr. Saypol's latest development. Earlier in the Day, Pinedale rancher Doug Vickery told the Commissioners the area Mr. Saypol planned to subdivide was a "very sensitive, very narrow migrating corridor for both deer and elk." Mr. Vickery said that over the years he had seen "literally hundreds of elk and deer come down through there." Subdividing the property into nine parcels would have "potential terrible impacts on wildlife," he said. Mr. Vickery suggested reducing the number of subdivided parcels from nine to four or five to reduce the impact on this "very fragile corridor for wildlife."

Commissioner Gordon Johnston told Mr. Vickery he also had concerns about the development's impact to deer and elk migration. "There is a lot of concern," he said, "I've had several calls." He said he's spoken with Game & Fish Biologist Doug McWhirter and that Doug had told him that Mr. Saypol's plans were as wildlife-friendly as could be expected.

Mr. Sayol said his plans call for fencing the perimeter of the entire subdivision with a wildlife friendly fence. Parcel owners will be allowed to fence 5-acre building sites on their plots, but no further cross fencing will be allowed. Covenants also prevent feeding wildlife, Mr. Saypol told the Commissioners.

Sylvia and Roberto Sandoval of the Mocroft Ranch told the Commission they owned two sections near Mr. Saypol's development and that they were opposed because it had the potential to increase the values of their lands. "Land values are being driven to intolerable levels," they said, noting that estate taxes may force them to sell their sections in the future. "Can't something be done by this county to save this way of life?" they asked.

Mr. Johnston's answer: "Buy it. . . . It's the only answer I can come up with right now." The Commissioner added that he was working with the Game & Fish, Green River Valley Land Trust, and federal agencies to identify migratory wildlife corridors and establish development restricts to protect them.

In a letter to the Commission, Flying A Ranch owner Lowell Hanson wrote in opposition to the development. Mr. Hanson wrote that the ecological impact of the development would be "extreme." He urged the Commission to deny Mr. Saypol's application.

Tyler Wilson of Boulder attended the meeting and also spoke in opposition.

In the end, both Mr. Johnston and Commissioner Betty Fear of Big Piney voted to approve Mr. Saypol's application. Commission Chairman Bill Cramer of Bondurant was absent.

While expressing misgivings about the new subdivision, Ms. Fear also expressed concern about respecting private property rights. "For a government to tell people what they can do with their property, I'm not sure that's the way we want to go."

Other Meeting News ...

Mary Lynn Worl and Doug Vickery both spoke to the Board with concerns about County roads. Ms. Worl complained about the dust from the Pinedale East Road, which leads from the Fremont Lake Road to James Lane. She asked the Board to consider surfacing the road. Mr. Vickery asked them run a motor grader over the Pape County Road. "It shakes you completely apart," he told the Board.

County Library Supervisor Daphne Platts told the Board she had met with space consultant Brad Waters considering an addition to the Big Piney Library. Plans call for the library to be expanded to include a meeting room, a computer area and better bathrooms.

The Board accepted a $119,000 bid to fence the new addition to the Sublette County Landfill near Marbleton.

Road & Bridge Supervisor Mike McGinnis told the Board the archeological survey of the proposed 50-acre addition to the Industrial Site west of Pinedale had been completed. The County wants to purchase the additional land from the BLM.

Gary Espenscheid updated the Board on the final construction list for the Sublette County Ag Center. Since last May, the Board has withheld a $55,000 payment to the building's contractor, Speigelberg Lumber, of Laramie because of several items on the building which need to be repaired or completed. Mr. Espenscheid said he had met with the project's architect, and the contractor had done a complete walk-through of the building. Items remain, but Mr. Espenscheid recommended that the Board go ahead and pay the $55,000. The Board still holds $93,000 owed to Speigelberg which will be paid when the county finally accepts the building.

The Board approved an application by Lawrence Rice to rezone 1.1 acres from Rural Residential near Boulder to Light Industrial. Mr. Rice plans to open a livestock gate and panel manufacturing business on site.

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Publisher/Editor: Rob Shaul