ROCK SPRINGS — At their Wednesday evening meeting, members of the city Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved a petition for a Zoning Ordinance Language Amendment filed by Daniel Pedri, 3001 Mustang Drive, to reduce the separation distance between a residence and animals from 100 feet to just 30 feet.
The request had originally been for a reduction from 100 feet to 50 feet, but the commissioners decided to go 20 feet better.
Horton provided a summary of the proposal and said he had contacted other Wyoming cities regarding their animal ordinances. Cody and Gillette have no specification for how far animals have to be from the owner’s residence, while Laramie specifies 20 feet.
“I think reducing the separation (distance) is warranted,” Horton told the commission, given that the current Rock Springs regulation is much stricter than what other Wyoming cities have that responded to the information request.
Pedri appeared before the commission and said that his request was based upon the fact that some of the properties in the subdivision where he lives have enough yard space to meet the 100 foot requirement, while some other properties don’t. The ordinance specifies that horses must be provided with a barn and a corral. Two horses per qualifying property are permitted. Horton said that horse owners must keep their barns and corrals clean and clear of waste.
Only one other resident, Gene Legerski, spoke regarding the animal ordinance, saying that he was in favor of the proposed change although he did have some suggestions such as getting more information regarding what other cities are doing.
Commissioner Mathew Jackman asked Horton if the subdivision around Mustang Drive had potential for growth. Horton responded in the affirmative and Jackman expressed concern that the horse corrals could eventually be in a well-developed residential area.
Horton acknowledged that residential growth in the area could take place.
Sheehan asked where the 100 foot requirement originally came from. Horton said he would need to get back to the commission on that. However, he believed the 100 foot requirement was originally adopted in the early 2000s, prior to which Rock Springs had no ordinance regarding horse requirements.
Despite the questions, commissioners went ahead and approved the petition. Throughout the discussion, Horton and the commissioners kept referring to “animals” and “horses” interchangeably. At the end of the meeting both Horton and Drnas clarified that they were referring to horses exclusively, and not to dogs and cats.
The board voted unanimously to keep Drnas as chairman/commission president for another year, and Mike Shaw as vice-president/vice chairman.
Commissioners Lauren Schoenfeld, Gabe Bustos, and Mark Erickson also attended the meeting.