The Sheridan County Board of Commissioners denied a Conditional Use Permit for the Big Horn Community Center and Tennis Facility by a vote of 2-3 this morning. More than a dozen citizens addressed the board of commissioners. By and large, property owners with land near the property opposed the project, citing that a large community center would compromise the integrity of their rural residential lifestyle.
The public comment period lasted more than two hours before the commissioners took the issue to vote. Commissioners Bob Rolston and Terry Cram voted for the measure. Commissioner Steve Maier was one of the three in the majority who voted against the CUP. He says to him, the issue had nothing to do with whether the Big Horn community needed a recreation facility, but rather with zoning requirements.
Proponents of the new community center pointed out the property had previously hosted a church that accommodated a large volume of people with few issues. As it stands, tennis players in the Big Horn area have no indoor arena to practice their game, and they were hoping this would be the place for them.
The land, which is owned by the Recreation District, is located on the same lot as the School District #1 bus barn that burned down last summer. The lot's previous CUP expired, which prompted this proposal to the commissioners.
The county's Planning and Zoning commission had unanimously voted against the measure April 4.