Rock Springs Planning & Zoning Holds “Non-meeting”


ROCK SPRINGS — The Planning & Zoning Commission for the City of Rock Springs was scheduled to hold their next monthly meeting on Wednesday, August 8.

However, the Commission was without a quorum and so no official meeting could be held. Five of the nine members of the P&Z Commission failed to show up for the scheduled gathering.

Sue Lozier, Keaton West, Gabe Bustos, Tim Sheehan and chairman Joe Drnas were absent.

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When asked where the missing commission members were, commission vice chairman Mike Shaw responded, “We don’t know.”

Trying Anyway

With five members missing in action, the four commission members who did show up—Shaw, Dan Kennedy, Lauren Schoenfeld and Matthew Jackman—displayed a kind of raw determination not to let mere obstacles get in their way of holding some kind of a meeting, even if unofficial.

The four commissioners present went ahead with a public hearing on a request by Larry Smith, 1004 McCabe Street, for a Conditional Use Permit that would allow construction of a 1,728 square foot detached accessory building, a garage.

The proposed garage would exceed the 1,200 square foot maximum and would also exceed the principal building roof height by 1’6”.

Smith appeared before the P&Z Commission, such as it was, to describe the work he has done on the project to date, including installation of walls in front and back of the 1004 McCabe Street property. The back wall was for flash flood control, Smith said.

Regarding the need to construct a garage larger than the norm, Smith said, “If the garage is too small all you’ll be able to put in there is a Volkswagen.”

He added that the garage needs to be a comfortable size to take care of everything that is put inside it.

No one appeared before the P&Z Commission to oppose Smith’s proposed garage project.

City Planner Steve Horton said that he could not provide a recommendation one way or the other regarding Smith’s request since the meeting was unofficial.

In any case, Horton explained, approval from the Planning & Zoning Commission would not constitute approval to go ahead and start construction. Smith would still need to obtain a building permit for the garage.

Email vote?

Shaw said that no commission vote on Smith’s request could be taken, since there was no quorum present.

Horton told the four commissioners that first thing on Thursday he would try to get with city attorney Richard Beckwith and find out if an email vote by the commissioners could be taken on Smith’s request.

Schoenfeld clarified that even if an email vote could be taken, it would still need to be confirmed at the next official Planning & Zoning Commission meeting.

Still, a positive vote from the commissioners, which Smith had been hoping for at the Wednesday meeting, would allow the next step in the garage process to proceed.

“Maybe we’ll only delay it one day,” Shaw told Smith.

However, Horton learned on Thursday that an email vote could not be taken.

“The Conditional Use Permit on the Planning & Commission Agenda from last night must be re-heard at the next P&Z Meeting of September 12. The P&Z By-Laws do not allow any vote unless there is a Quorum at the meeting,” Horton said in an email.