Albany County and the city of Laramie want to work more closely to guide growth in areas of the county near the city limits.
The Albany County Board of Commissioners discussed a draft memorandum of understanding with the city Tuesday that would enlist a consultant to review city and county planning documents, make policy recommendations and develop a joint management agreement.
The commission and council have been meeting in joint committees since the start of the year to facilitate better cooperation between the entities on issues of mutual importance.
State statute requires the county to consider city comments on infrastructure and development planning that happens within 1 mile of city limits, but the city has no other way to influence county decisions on those matters.
Commissioner Heber Richardson pointed out that all Laramie residents also are county residents, but not all Albany County residents live within city limits.
“The people in the city are our constituents, but the city councilors are not elected officials of people outside the city,” he said.
Richardson said a joint development process could ease tensions that arise when the city and county find themselves at odds about development near the city, but not inside the city.
Regarding housing, he said the community as a whole would benefit if both entities could agree on where they’d like to see growth and take steps together to make it happen.
“We all can agree on what we don’t want to happen, but we don’t take any action on what we do want to happen,” he said.
Commissioner Pete Gosar said developers would benefit from knowing how growth priorities differ in different parts of the city and county.
“This is an opportunity to get the same set of maps and the same growth plan for everybody,” he said.