JACKSON — Planning and zoning staff in Lincoln County are recommending approval of a controversial proposed subdivision development on private land surrounded by the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming.
The BlindBull Meadows development would be built near the Greys River between the Wyoming and Salt River mountain ranges 35 miles south of Jackson.
The county staff recommended approval of the development, with stipulations, in a report released Wednesday. The proposal still needs approval by the Lincoln County Planning and Zoning Commission and County Commission before development can proceed.
Developer Dan Schwab proposes to build 43 cabins and RV pads, a convenience store and an airstrip on the 73-acre site.
County planners recommend requiring a number of conditions before the county grants approval. They include requiring a fence to keep out wildlife and not allowing a proposed man-made pond on the site.
Also, the airstrip couldn't be used during the winter to protect big game.
The planners got hundreds of emails about the project, most in opposition.
"Most of the correspondence has consisted of emotional pleas to simply stop the development," Lincoln County Planning Director John Woodward wrote in the report. "If the Greys River Valley is really too special for any development whatsoever then shouldn't the government condemn the existing lots, structures and businesses in the area? This is unlikely."
Others say the county should respect private property rights.
Dave Hunt, a retired professor who lives in Afton, said that he would continue to lobby against the development after reading the staff report.
"There are darn few that are in favor of it. Those that are, fight for the rights of the property owner to do whatever you want to do with your land, which is fallacious. If there are enough people that are in opposition to it, then the planning commission ought to be listening to them," Hunt said.
Real estate broker Ryan Olsen spoke in favor of BlindBull Meadows in an email to Lincoln County.
"I ask simply that the focus of the development be centered on private property rights of the individual," Olsen wrote. "If a community is not growing, then it is dying. ... There is nothing in between."
The County Commission plans to vote on the development June 5.