P&Z approves firearms service as home business


SUBLETTE COUNTY – The Sublette County Planning and Zoning Commission did not hear an anticipated zoning-change request to develop a rural retreat near the Hoback Rim at its March18 meeting.

That was withdrawn, according to county planner Dennis Fornstrom. But it did approve a setback-variance request tabled from the previous Feb. 18 meeting and a home-based firearms business. Planning and zoning commissioners were also handed the newly proposed 2021 Sublette County Road Standards for Class 1 county roads.

Chair Blake Greenhalgh and members Pat Burroughs, Chris Lacinak and Maike Tan recommended approval of Jared and Mandie Huffines’ rear-setback variance request from their subdivision’s 40 feet to the county’s standard 25 feet.

The couple attended last month to explain their request for a variance so they could build a shop on their Carmichael Hills property.

Latner Straley, an adjoining agricultural property owner not in the subdivision, was concerned that no one had talked to his family about reducing the rear setback. He was also concerned about creating a precedent for other subdivision properties around his family’s ranch land.

This time, the Huffines said they met with Straley and got his OK for their project. With the commission’s recommendation, the variance request next goes to the Sublette County Board of Commissioners for approval. 

Home business

Justin Scarborough brought his request for a home-based business on the Bar Cross Ranch that is all zoned agricultural. A home-based business can be allowed with a county conditional-use permit.

Fornstrom told the commission Scarborough plans to perform firearm services; the ranch owner sent a letter agreeing to let Scarborough operate at 238 Willow Creek Ranch Rd.

“When the armory business is exploding in Sublette County, everybody wants to be a gunsmith,” Greenhalgh said. “They have gone on to do other things. Are you trying to get a storefront and sell products?”

“Yes, eventually,” Scarborough said. He plans to start in a detached garage with a federal firearms dealer license and commercial costs are high in Sublette County for a larger business. He was asked if people would be shooting guns on the premises.

“That’s 3,500 acres,” Fornstrom said. He explained that the conditional-use permit would go with Scarborough if he does move the business and not stay with the land.

“We have to watch – we get more of these people buying commercial property in town but if he grows into that – we allow him to have a competing (home) business to someone who is commercial and in town,” Greenhalgh said.

He is worried that more new property owners will make more requests for home-based businesses.  

“In our regulations, a home business is allowed as a conditional use in Agricultural-1 zoning,” Burroughs said. “That’s all we’re doing on this piece of property.”

The commission voted to recommend Scarborough’s CUP request and thanked him for planning ahead with his application, which next goes to the Board of County Commissioners for final approval.

The last agenda item was to review the county’s proposed new Class I road standards. With questions, however, the commission tabled a vote to get more information about the changes. (See a separate article in this edition.)

Withdrawn

The withdrawn application was from Dakin Sloss, who planned to seek a zoning change for 25 acres of 320 acres now zoned Agricultural-1. The property is located along Packer Creek southeast of the Hoback Rim. The proposal was to change the small piece to Recreational Service zoning to build a retreat center with a lodge and guest cabins “to facilitate a relaxing stay for their guests.”

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