County Commission Considers Permits for Small Mining Operation, Large Storage Tanks
The Natrona County Commission will hold three public hearings at its bimonthly meeting at the old courthouse at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to its agenda.
The requests were approved by the commission's advisory Planning and Zoning Commission in December and January, and need final approval by the Board of County Commissioners.
In the first public hearing, the East Elkhorn Ranch LLC will requesta zone map amendment for a section it recently purchased about three miles southeast of Allendale from Mountain Residential One (MR-1) to Urban Agriculture (UA).
In December, the county's development director Jason Gutierrez told the Planning and Zoning Commission the ranch wanted that land rezoned back to UA for its ranching operations including new reservoirs and other infrastructure.
The MR-1 designation is problematic because it only allows agricultural operations such as grazing as an accessory to being a resident, Gutierrez said.
Some homeowners who live about a mile west of the objected to a zoning change because it could allow subdivisions and manufactured homes, which in turn could devalue neighboring property values.
But the ranch's representative the beauty of the base of Casper Mountain has come about in part because the ranch is developing reservoirs, which in turn water the meadows that also feed the cattle.
In the second public hearing, the commission will consider a request for a conditional use permit from Elkhorn Rocks LLC to allow a gravel mining operation on 15 acres on the East Elkhorn Ranch.
The third public hearing will be for a request for a conditional use permit by Inberg-Miller Engineering and Rocky Mountain Pipeline Systems to build two new 150,000-barrel fuel storage tanks within existing tank berms in the former Amoco tank farm. The tanks would collect petroleum products from pipelines from the Salt Creek Oil Field, the Douglas area, Elk Basin, Lost Cabin and other sources.
The area is zoned light industrial, which allows storage tanks with capacities of up to 12,000 gallons.
The 150,000-barrel tanks would be 150 feet in diameter and 48 feet high, and located 1,400 feet east of Salt Creek Highway and 1,400 feet north of West Yellowstone highway. They would be in berms designed to hold 110 percent of the capacity of the tanks. A foam fire suppression system will be installed.
As of Dec. 23, the county development department had not received any public comments about the proposed conditional use permit for the storage tanks.