Counties could face high costs with unregulated subdivisions

Sep 4, 2012

A conservation group is urging Wyoming counties to be cautious with subdivisions, because the overall costs might be more than the county anticipated. 

John Heyneman with the Sonoran Institute in Wyoming prepared a report for the Natrona County Commissioners, which says good prior planning and partnerships with city officials can help save counties money. 

Some Counties in the West have been overwhelmed with costs for law enforcement and other services, and some have suspended such services due to a lack of money.  Heyneman says one suggestion is to keep county subdivisions as close to a community as possible.

“What we find is that the cost for providing services close to town are far less than the cost for providing services away from town.”

While County Zoning is an important tool, Heyneman says various incentives can keep subdivisions from getting out of hand.  Heyneman says county budgets can really suffer, especially when it comes to popular 35 acre pieces of land.

“The cost of providing services far outweighs the revenue that they generate.  And the loss or the difference between the revenue generation and the expenses for delivering services is far greater for 35 acre ranchettes.”

Heyneman says having strict guidelines or incentives for developers can help.