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County panel reviews Scofield Estates project

Staff reporter

Carbon County's planning commission met Tuesday and board members considered a proposal for a subdivision near Scofield Reservoir.

The first phase of Scofield Estates involves a 29-lot development on the west side of the reservoir.

Several people from the development corporation attended the meeting, but Alan Christensen presented the proposed project to the planning commission.

"Since we first presented this to you, there have been some changes," explained Christensen. "We have changed some of the frontages, changed where the water tank will be located so it will be closer to the well site and have designated maximum amount of irrigation area any homesite can have so that water can be conserved. Also we have designated any outside irrigation has to be of the drip type."

Commission member Lynna Topolovec indicated she was concerned about one covenant that specified homeowers would be discouraged from filling in any existing natural drainage.

"Personally I think that it should specify they can't fill them in, not just discourage it," she stated.

Christensen felt there would be no problem in specifying thatnatural drainages not be filled.

"We are putting in the culverts for roads we are construction so I seen no problem with specifying that," said Christensen.

Richard Tatton, commission chair, voiced concern about the septic systems that are specified on the lots.

"I realize that you have done percolation tests on sites in each lot. But what if a resident doesn't want to put their septic system in that area?" asked Tatton.

If a homeowner doesn't like the place the developer denoted as the septic tank site, the individual can move it, replied Christensen.

"But they must do the percolation tests on that site to be sure it will work right," said Christensen.

Individual lots have stand pipes for fire suppression. But the covenants pointed out that no one can guarantee fire crews will respond.

"Scofield will respond if they can. But they can't guarantee anything," commented Christensen.

County building and zoning director Dave Levanger pointed out that the stand pipes in the subdivision had to supply more pressure than the 25 pounds per square inch noted. He said state statutes now required 40 psi. Christensen said developers could change that by moving the water tank farther up the hill.

Robert Welch, a planning panel member, asked where the well was going to be located.

Christensen pointed out it would be near the road going up Pondtown Creek. Welch was concerned about the pad size for drilling and the requirements for the well.

"Every water company must have a resource protection program approved by the state," explained Carbon Commissioner Mike Milovich.

The commissioner represents the county on the panel.

The planning board voted for preliminary approval of the subdivision with an amendment requiring that covenants spell out that lot owners cannot fill in or impede the natural drainages on their property.

Acting on unrelated business matters, the planning board members:

•Approved conditional use permits for five gas wells proposed by Phillips Petroleum. Three of the wells are southwest of Kilfoyle, one just north of Four Mile Hill west of SR10 and one just south of Ridge Road and east of Upper Miller Creek Road.

The two biggest concerns with the wells were run off and noise, considering they are fairly close to residential areas.

Jean Semborski of Phillips explained that all the pads had ponds which would contain any runoff from the well sites.

In an attempt to minimize the effects associated with the noise generated by the drilling operations, the planning commission has continually tried to keep the wells at locations at least one-quarter of a mile away from private residences.

"I am concerned about homeowners in the area being informed," said Topolovec. "When the wells were put in Carbonville, we made sure the residents were informed. We have allowed a 55 decibel level for noise from the site in wells that are far away from houses."

"But now that these wells are getting closer to residences, I think we need to look at this differently," pointed out the county planning board member.

Representing Phillips at the planning panel meeting, attorney Nick Sampinos pointed out that, in the cases where the drilling sites are close to homes, the company places buildings over the well heads.

"The initial drilling can be somewhat noisy, but that is for a very short period of time," indicated Sampinos. "As for the long-term, the company builds a shed over the pumps."

Semborski pointed out that well units installed after the drilling phase are quiet operations.

The members of the county planning panel granted the conditional use permits, provided Phillips contacts home owners about the activity that will be going on in the area.

•Agreed to a zone change from critical environment one to CE-2 for two wells west of the old town site of Hiawatha provided the company continually monitor the sites for any kind of pollution problems that may arise with nearby Miller Creek.

•Approved a four lot minor subdivision on the north loop of Coal Creek Road at the request of Glen Wells.

•Approved a zone change for some other property on Coal Creek Road owned by Mark Donathan. The property was approved to be changed from RR-2.5 to C-2 to accommodate Donathan's parking of construction equipment that is idle when not being used on a work site.

In addition, the issue of the fairgrounds intersection was included on the planning board's meeting agenda.

At the county planning committee meeting in July, Kay Burton from the State and Institutional Trust Lands Administration presented a number of options for intersection changes in the area.

The matter is of interest to SITLA because the state agency is developing an industrial park west of Fairgrounds Road.

At the July meeting, the options were explored. When the idea of a "roundabout" was introduced, the county board's members planned to hear a proposal on the extended option.

However, the proposal did not materialize so the county's planning board members decided to go with one of the original options.

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