Story By: Spencer Porden
The Sheridan City Council voted to approve a city-wide code and policy audit at their meeting on Monday night, with the hopes of encouraging more affordable housing to be built in Sheridan.
Community Development Director, Brian Craig, approached council with the proposed code audit and update, which the city planned to be completed by Cascadia Partners, a consulting firm from Oregon.
The code audit is aimed to alleviate Sheridan’s growing housing crisis, and encourage the building of newer, more “moderately priced” housing, or what Craig called “workforce housing.”
Craig said that the firm expects to be in town March 13th-15th, and have a primary draft of the updated codes by April, and a final draft by May. The consultation would cost the city $20,000 from Sheridan’s 1¢ funds, and $9,200 from city planning division funds.
Counselor Clint Beaver initially opposed the audit, as he felt the audit could be handled in-house, rather than being outsourced to a consulting firm.
Craig added that the firm would not only examine the current codes, but they would also examine the possible negative impacts of the code change. Craig was also worried that if the audit was handled in-house, the city would not be able to have the code audit completed by the beginning of the “peak-building season” this summer.
Craig added that while the company is not local, they have ties to Wyoming, and have completed several similar code audits around the area. The Wyoming Business Council Statewide Housing Task Force is also planning to use the same firm for a similar statewide study.
Council voted to approve the funding for the audit 5-2, with Counselors Beaver and Martin opposing.