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The Associated Press

RAWLINS, Wyo. (AP) — Carbon County Commissioners plan Tuesday to consider a zone change that would allow a mid-sized ski resort to be built on Green Mountain.

The county’s planning commission recently approved residential zoning for Grand Encampment Mountain Resort, about 10 miles southwest of Encampment.

The planners approved up to 285 housing units on the 620-acre property on Green Mountain.

“This is a really glorious day for me. This is an important milestone for this project,” said Pat Lynch, the resort’s developer.

The housing is described as a 220-acre development of low-impact, environmentally sustainable second homes with some ski trails running between them. Other projects could include a lodge, restaurant and tennis courts.

Planning Director Ron Kilgore wrote in a report that the resort could spur other businesses such as restaurants, stores and gas stations.

Lynch and other investors acquired the property through a land exchange with the state last year.

Judy Geiger, a ski instructor, said recent studies show the ski industry is no longer growing. She said she does not a residential development if the resort plans fall through.

Bill Farr, who represents the county’s economic development team, said the development would increase tourism, the tax base and possibly add to the school population.

“We don’t see any detrimental effects, only good effects,” he said.

A letter from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said traffic, fences and homes brought on by the resort would significantly threaten wildlife. The area is summer range for deer, elk and bighorn sheep, as well as elk calving grounds.

The department asked that utility lines be buried, fences be limited, a survey be conducted for boreal toads and property buyers be informed about how to minimize conflicts with bears and other wildlife.

The U.S. Forest Service said an environmental study is needed before easements are granted for utility lines. The resort is surrounded by the Medicine Bow National Forest.

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