Driveways debated |

Driveways debated

County takes a look at regulations in Wilderness Ranch

Brandon Johnson

The winding road leading to Bryan and Lucy Rickman’s property in Wilderness Ranch makes meeting county driveway regulations nearly impossible.

And they aren’t the only property owners in the subdivision with that problem.

The regulations state a driveway must be visible to oncoming traffic from 300 feet on both sides.

Bryan said that on one side, his driveway is visible from more than 300 feet, but on the other side, it’s only visible from 158 feet.

Rickman said he doesn’t think his driveway should be a safety concern.

“I’m very safety conscious,” the West Routt fire chief said.

The road dead-ends near his property, so Rickman said cars aren’t traveling very fast to begin with.

The Rickmans asked the Moffat County commissioners Tuesday to let them build a driveway without meeting the sight-distance regulation.

Commissioners approved the Rickmans’ request, but they still have to address other property owners in the subdivision.

“They addressed our position, but they have to come up with a bigger solution for Wilderness Ranch,” Lucy said.

When Moffat County annexed Wilderness Ranch in January 1972, the county didn’t have any zoning regulations.

Zoning regulations weren’t in place until August 1972. The zoning regulations don’t apply to driveways built before 1972.

Moffat County Planner Ben Crippen said that since 1972, some landowners may have asked for special permits to build driveways without the required sight distance. But some landowners built driveways without permits, Crippen said.

Commissioners tried to issue a resolution covering all of Wilderness Ranch on Tuesday, but they ran into trouble wording the resolution and pushed it back to next week’s meeting.

Crippen said he hopes the commissioners write a resolution that exempts any driveways built before now.

Commissioner Darryl Steele said the county can’t change driveways that were in place when the county annexed the subdivision but that he plans to make sure any new subdivision in Wilderness Ranch meets the regulations.

“We would not approve a subdivision within (Wilderness Ranch) that did not meet the sight-distance regulations,” Steele said.

Gary Culver, treasurer of the Wilderness Ranch Land Owners Association, said exempting Wilderness Ranch’s driveways from the regulations is a property-value issue.

“If you can’t get access to your property,” Culver said, “it has no value.”

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031 or

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