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A car drives by the 73-acre piece of land allotted for the Whitney Ranch development on Tuesday. The Cheyenne City Council voted Monday to rezone the land and approved the development’s final plat, which will consist mainly of residential housing. Rhianna Gelhart/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – The Cheyenne City Council on Monday moved a planned housing development closer to construction.

The council approved a final plat for the Whitney Ranch development, establishing 149 lots within a 73-acre area. It also voted to rezone this large section of land at the northwest corner of Dell Range Boulevard and Whitney Road, changing it from agricultural land into a combination of medium-density residential, high-density residential, mixed-use business emphasis and community business.

Both actions were approved unanimously by the council.

Single-family or duplex homes will make up 138 of these lots, along with one multi-family lot, three mixed-use lots, one commercial lot, one water detention lot and five lots for open space or trail corridors, according to city planning documents.

In a Tuesday interview, Mayor Patrick Collins said the actions would allow the developer, Homes by Guardian, to move forward with its design plans for the site. However, the plat will not be finalized until a development agreement between Homes by Guardian and the city – a plan for “what, when and how” – is finished and approved, which Collins said would happen “very soon.”

“We have a serious housing shortage, and so, for me, getting the zoning changed and getting the plat approved means we’re going to be able to start moving toward building on this piece of property. That’s exciting news for me,” Collins said.

A Wyoming Tribune Eagle article in April reported that residents who live near Homes by Guardian’s Thomas Heights subdivision had previously voiced concerns about planned drainage designs, and about whether residents near Whitney Ranch would be subject to the same flooding they are.

At the Monday meeting, City Engineer Tom Cobb said these drainage concerns had been addressed with a preliminary alignment for a storm sewer system down to Van Buren Avenue.

City staff reportedly worked closely with the developer on the drainage plans for Whitney Ranch, and on Tuesday, Collins and Cobb seemed confident current plans would prevent the kind of flooding experienced by residents living near the Thomas Heights development.

They described how water coming off of the Whitney Ranch site would go to the development’s designated detention pond, and from there make its way into an underground drainage system running down Van Buren Avenue and coming out at Rawlins Street. The water would go directly into Dry Creek, rather than traveling on the surface through neighborhoods.

“We’re trying to make sure that we don’t have a repeat of what happened (near Thomas Heights),” Collins said.

Hannah Black is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at hblack@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahcblack.

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