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City resizing lots in Washington Park Subdivision

News Letter Journal of Newcastle, Wyoming

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The Newcastle City Council gave approval to a plan to resize a number of home lots designated for sale a decade ago, and hope to make at least some of them available to potential buyers shortly after the beginning of the year.

The council held a public hearing to discuss the resubdivision of Washington Park Addition in Newcastle, and after no opinions were offered in objection to the plan, the council unanimously approved it. It was made clear by City Attorney Jim Peck that notice was sent to homeowners surrounding the area that will be resubdivided and the only resident of the area that contacted City

Engineer Bob Hartley did not express concerns with the proposal.

Washington Park was originally purchased by the City of Newcastle from the State of Wyoming back in 2004-2005 because the city was running out of lots in town that were available to people who wanted to build new homes, according to Hartley. He reported that development was slowed down, however, as a result of delays for soil testing and the market proved unfavorable once that testing was done.

"Shortly after we purchased it, we got a notice from the Corp of Engineers that they were doing a lead contamination test on the property, and we had to put the whole thing on hold because we did not want to sell property that the government might condemn," professed Hartley.

He reported that after two years, when the testing was complete, the economy had slowed down and the money the city had originally expected to use on the project was designated for other projects and the development of Washington Park was put on hold.

Hartley explained that the city has now decided it is time to move forward with the development of the area, and has divided the area into lots that will be developed prior to sale, noting that the council made the decision to set the money gained from the sale of the properties over time to develop the next set of lots.

"That was the main thing they were concerned about. They did not want any money to come out of the general fund to develop the land. It is going to be paying for itself," declared Hartley. The money received when properties are purchased will go to installing curbs, gutters, pavement, electric, sewer, water, phone, and any other necessities.

Hartley noted that originally Washington Park was plotted in the 1940s or 1950s, and this plan is being completely rewritten, with the City of Newcastle abandoning the roads and alleys that were originally identified to plot larger areas for homes.

"They will be bigger lots. The first ones will be about a half an acre and some of the others will be bigger lots at almost a full acre," proclaimed Hartley, who indicated that prior to the decision to resize the lots, the city contacted local realtors to determine what people were looking for. Those realtors expressed the need for larger lots.

Hartley expressed that it will be some time before the lots are ready to be sold because the city is still in the process of finalizing the project, but he projected that the first two lots will be up for sale in the next couple of months, with the others not being ready for sale until next year.

The lots will be zoned as R2, which is classified for single and two family dwellings, but allows purchasers to put a manufactured home on the lot as long as they are built to fit zoning requirements. Hartley said that the decision over how the lots will be sold will be up to the City Attorney and the City Council.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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